Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Short Season of Other Poets: Rik Roots


As the hovercraft puffed its skirts
against the concrete apron, so I flew -
Dover harbour a spray of images
behind my brother as he swung me
over the salt-crust lawns, the edge
of the unguarded cliff, a handgrasp away
from learning the dangers of trust.

Now the last hovercraft has been scrapped
for spares, I can discover new seductions:
the dangers of windy walks through stiff grasses
to watch the sea bolster Dover below; the feel
of rain spattering my neck, my back
as I dance with you, tonight's friend,
on the edge of the cliff - eyes forward
not down - each step an experiment
in my trust of flinty contact.

This poem is from the e-chapbook 'Poems to Quote to your Lover' by Rik Roots, which you can find - amongst other publications and poems by Rik - on the RikVerse website.

"Rik was born in the small village of Dymchurch on the Romney Marshes in Kent, England. Dymchurch has three Martello Towers and a station on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway. This was Rik's world for the first 24 years of his life, except for those six terms away at college - the North East Surrey College of Technology, that is: Rik somehow managed to fail his final school exams and thus never made it to university.

Poetically, Rik has been writing since he was 14 or 15. He happily acknowledges that no work from that early period survives, thanks to a fortuitous kitchen fire which may or may not have been started deliberately. The kitchen was relatively unharmed, in case you were worrying.

Rik's major claim to 'proper' poetic fame is being part of the group that established Magma Magazine - he even edited Magma 6, for his sins. The magazine's subsequent success has nothing to do with Rik; he left the Management Board a few weeks before Magma 7 was published. Rik's main publishing credentials are, strangely enough, in Magma Magazine. Nowadays he rarely submits poems to journals and has no plans to seek 'proper' venues for his chapbooks and manuscripts - Rik has a website, after all, which makes him very happy!

On a broader note, Rik is currently studying for that elusive degree with the Open University, and writing science fiction novels. Rik used to work for Her Majesty's Civil Service which is, he says, a perfect training ground for people wanting to write novels based on alternate realities and fantasy.

Rik currently lives in London with his partner, Nigel, and some cats. His other hobbies include causing trouble in various online venues and inventing languages. He also codes up websites."


And this concludes my Short Season of Other Poets. Many thanks to all those who kindly agreed to let me host their poems on my blog, and good luck with the publications I've mentioned here over the past few weeks.



I love these opening lines:
'As the hovercraft puffed its skirts
against the concrete apron, so I flew -'

The poem has a lightness of feeling but with a tinge of menace (that cliff) that I really enjoy.

I love 'tonight's friend' too.

Congrats, Rik. An enjoyable end to a v enjoyable season.

Thanks, Jane, for having us all.

Jane Holland said...

Mon plaisir.


BarbaraS said...

This is a good poem to send us all up and away into the future. And a light touch about trust.

I note Rik's foray into the OU world - best of luck with that... they were the best years of my life :)

Rik said...

Thank you for an excellent short season of other poets, Jane.

Glad people enjoyed my contribution.

Jane Holland said...

No problemo. The season wasn't that short in the end, but it was certainly fun to do. And it took a weight off my shoulders at a time when I've been exceptionally busy doing other things ...

So good stuff all round.