NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
JOAN JOHNSTON: ORANGE FOR THE SUN
Dogeater
PO Box 990
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2US
UK
ISBN 0 9546515 2 9
5.95

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JOAN JOHNSTON: ORANGE FOR THE SUN

This 46-page book contains poems that span the decades of a western life. THE GIRL CAUGHT sets the period:

	The day they caught me
	being Cilla Black
	I was back-combed
	and miming
	into my hairbrush,
	standing on a chair,
	performing into the mirror
This book is whisked above the plethora of coffee-table reads by the clear and persistent charm of the writer. The poems are light. Johnston's approach gives a kind of openness and honesty:
	On your old garden fence the starling
	repeats the chorus notes of Come on Eileen

	and it nearly kills me; stops me in my tracks
	through the overgrown grass, the red petals

	from the B&Q rose bush you bought reduced
	that first Bank Holiday after he died.  You chose it
The above is from CATCHY. Each poem is an observation of an aspect of life. For instance I give TREASURE in full:
	You may as well have left me
	mewling in a phone box
	or on the hospital steps

	with your wedding photo
	cutting-the-cake,
	these flowered tea sets

	wrapped in newspaper.
	Mammy's Treasure.
	Daddy's Pigeon Pie.
Joan Johnston is preoccupied with the passage of time the ephemeral aspects of life. Her poetry paints small pictures of existence.

reviewer: Doreen King.