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Please click on thePOETRYbutton at the top of this page for a selection
of my poetry for JANUARY. A selection of my poetry is updated at the beginning of each month...
See Below for :
Forthcoming readings & events
My new collection HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
I am excited and delighted that my publishers, Dempsey & Windle, are submitting my collection, How The Light Gets In, for the new prize for poetry about Nature, The Laurel Prize.
I have an Instagram account on which I am loading a topical photograph and poem every day for a year - I started on September 1st. For more information please go to Instagram and visit #poetryosada
Last day of Octobe 2019, I drove to Cirencester to be interviewed and to read some of my poetry on Corinium Radio. Thanks to Rona Laycock and Engineer, Chris for making the session so enjoyable. The programme was broadcast on November 25th on 87.7MHz and digital radio via the internet.
To hear a recording of the programme now:
1) Click the link below to reach it (make sure your sound is turned on!)
2) Once the Drop Box page opens click "Continue to website" at the bottom of the page
3 ) Use the stop/start controls to start the recording.
is available from this website at a special price of £7 (inc. P & P) to friends and readers. RRP £9. To secure your copy, contact me at :
HERE IS THE COVER OF MY NEW BOOK, A SELECTED AND NEW COLLECTION OF MY POETRY.
This is what has been said about my poetry on the back cover:
Patrick Osada has the knack of describing Nature with great observation but without being
sentimental. A modern Edward Thomas in some respects.
Patricia Oxley, ACUMEN
Patrick Osada is a very twenty-first century poet of the natural world. His strands
of Nature, Place and the Spiritual soon become plaited in a part celebratory, part
elegiac meditation. A varied and very satisfying collection.
David Perman, Rockingham Press
How the Light Gets In – The poet depicts nature and place with an impressive
command of traditional and formal verse... The section on Place, and particularly its
description of locations in Cornwall, mark this as a special collection.
Adrian Green, Adjudicator, Littoral Press, Nature Poetry Competition.
Patrick Osada is the quintessential poet of what passes now for rural England. His
subjects and rhythms may be traditional but he is fully alive to what is happening in
the sorts of places where many of us live or visit on holiday.
David Ashbee, Reviewer and Poet
Over the years many of my poems have shared an underlying theme : the natural
world and its links to man's environment and spirituality.
Having been encouraged to collect together a large group of these poems,How The
Light Gets In contains some new work, together with poems selected from my
previous five collections of poetry.
The book is divided into three sections : Nature, Place, Spiritual
Many of the poems relate to more than one of these categories – some to all three –
but I trust the reader will understand my reasons for deliberately ordering the poems
in this way.
Hopefully this helps to showcase individual poems and to place them in a meaningful
How The Light Gets In is beautifully produced by my publishersDempsey & Windle.
A special “Thank You” to my editor, Janice, for her attention to detail and excellent cover design. I am delighted to confirm that Donall Dempsey and Janice Windle were two of the readers at the launch of my book.
REVIEWS ofHOW THE LIGHT GETS IN :
Review of “How The Light Gets In” HQ poetry Magazine No. 50
Patrick B. Osada lives in Berkshire – and I was born and bred in Berkshire...and as many poems in his new collection How The Light Gets In (Dempsey & Windle, £9) have their roots in Berkshire, this book comes into my hands already drenched in reviewer bias. The Royal County is rightly symbolized by the Oak and Hart, and these poems are equally dignified and animate, full of the tension between stillness and movement.
These lines from Warfield Visitor hint at what I mean; describing a Red Kite…
“Till, with a flick of his forked tail / he caught the breeze to head north-west. / Like nylon kites above Larks Hill, / this bird is tethered to its home: / a pull, Like Ariadne’s thread, / will draw him back to Beacon Hill / and Cowleaze Wood in distant Bucks.”
I like the “distant Bucks” - a good handful of miles across the Thames beyond the Alfredian Burghs where the damned Mercians live...as any true Berkshire-Wessex folk will tell you. And that’s the thing, this is that rarity these days – a book of poems that, in the main, concentrate on a locality; not just its flora and fauna but also change. Here is the conclusion of Making Hay, about the 65 acre solar farm at Pingewood, Berks;
They promise they will seed a meadow here
where sheep can safely graze for thirty years,
now acres of dark windows face the sky
and on each frame a glassy panel’s ‘live’.
So, new breed farming clearly has begun
to turn a profit harvesting the sun.
This is poetry in the tradition of John Clare, responding not just to the natural environment, but also to how it is changing. Sadly, it may have a greater impact on future readers, who may reflect upon this poetry as representing a requiem for rural England. I hope that I’m wrong. It is a good read – a refreshing landscape in a gallery full of portraits…
Review by Carla Scarano D’Antonio for LONDON GRIP (on line)
Plays of light and shadow
How The Light Gets In - Patrick Osada - Dempsey & Windle
ISBN 978-1-907435-62-1 £9
Old and new poems alternate in the selected new poetry collection of Patrick Osada with particular attention to nature, especially plants and birds, and his concerns about the environment, which seems to change too quickly.
The book is divided in three sections, Nature, Place and Spiritual, but the poems are not linked only to one topic, on the contrary, the three themes often interweave in most of the poems. The ‘pleasure’ and ‘rapture’ that nature inspires and the poet’s profound love of the environment are reiterated in many pieces. There is an attentive, minute observation of the flying of birds, their migrations, their imperceptible movements and the essence of their singing; they are caught in elegant lines and evoked in sounds that engage the reader in a multi sensory experience.
Nature blooms and dies, freezes in white cold nights or bursts in lush vegetation; compelling poetic images reveal a profound communion with the environment. This contact with nature that rebirths every spring, makes being human more ‘human’ and is perhaps the core of our humanity; whereas our spiritual side might be constantly haunted by the end of our physical being. It is a constant effort of renewal where light and shadow take turns in the memories of the loved ones.
The power of spring is revealed in birds’ songs, in the ‘smell of garlic’, and in the relentless blossoming of the blackthorn in spite of winter’s harsh winds. Though winter is fascinating with its ‘icy flowers’ and ‘snowflake petals’, nature is frozen, animals rest and can only ‘dream of spring’.
The flying and singing of birds represent this cyclical renewal at its best, a hymn to hope and life:
Here come the swallows
Wheeling over the bay,
Blue to replace the grey;
They are towing the sun
Home across the spray,
They are warming the land:
Starting summer today,
Surprising old crows and the secretive jay.
in the poem ‘Force of Nature’ the rhythm and sounds reproduce the flying of the starlings in an onomatopoeic evocation where sounds and images create a harmonious riveting effect:
flocks swoop fields, skirt factories, circle streets
as they follow weird tracks through empty air –
invisible to all but these strange birds.
But nature is not only joyful and lively, death lingers in its folds, present and inevitable in the hawk feeding on a robin, ‘pausing, head cocked, aware of every sound’, or in the crows whose ‘shadows caw across the stubbed field:/Black harbingers who come with tales of death’. Life mingles with death in a natural flowing that does not seem to affect the wildlife’s harmony.
In ‘Still life with feathers’ four birds fly from the nest but one is left dead behind in the birdbox where the poet finds it in ‘A filigree of spider’s web’. It is ‘Perfect and whole’ in its stillness, a natural death. A similar event is echoed in ‘Still’, in the Spirituality section; it is about a still born child ‘Perfect in the deep dark of the scan./He was complete…an active growing child’. Here the reaction is different, ‘nature seemed to catch her breath’. The death of a child does not seem to be as ‘natural’ as the death of a bird. This suggests that death in nature is part of a cycle while in human life it seems to be a halt that creates confusion. This concept is already introduced in the second section, Place, where ‘sea and cloud conjoin’ (Roseland), merging water and sky in a less certain scenario compared to the countryside landscapes:
While all the time my thoughts just turn or spin.
Still trying to reconcile my past,
I find a way of starting up again:
Light on water, timeless place, salt air and acumen.
The word ‘change’ recurs in these poems underlining environmental concerns about people’s unscrupulous destruction of nature, where ‘scaffold poles’ take the place of trees and ‘hard-hatted men with cruel machines/soon make the torn earth die…’ (‘When’). The geese cannot find their place in the countryside where new houses have been built and green spaces are less and less.
Light and shadow alternate in the Spiritual section where death lingers in the memories of dead people the poet misses. It is threatening in the dead fox:
Unnatural, twisted, posturing in death:
Defiance frozen in his reaching limbs,
Anguish smiles, crookedly through bared teeth,
Eyes fixed, a final glare of grief.
The future seems uncertain, the afterlife a question mark, but nature comes again to the rescue. Though people are dead, their gardens bloom in the unbroken cycle of seasons that brings everything ‘back to life’.
The final poems reflect these two moods in striking images. On the one hand, the’ heart’s red rage’ and ‘the bird of black despair’, on the other hand, ‘the blueness air and water’ and ‘Liquids of air, fused on the mountain top’. The poet carries on, dreaming and praying for peace with the words of an ancient Celtic Benediction (‘Saying Goodbye’), ‘Uncertain that my memory serves me well’ (‘Anniversary’). It is an elegy to a loved one, painfully missed, but present. It is a wish to grasp life in memories that are fading but still there. This is an enthralling collection that brings nature and the unpredictability of human life to light.
Five Star Review on AMAZON BOOKS
Mandy Pannett : Sense of a Blessing
22 August 2018
This collection is called ‘How the Light Gets In’ – an apt title since the poems are full of shimmer and beings that shine. One of my favourite images is in the poem 'Elvers' where the creatures are a ‘mass of squirming grey translucency,/glass eels, whose every heartbeat can be seen.’ In 'Winter Solstice, Warfield' we have the marvellous picture of a crab apple tree whose fruit is brighter than any decoration: ‘Crab apples hang above the gate,/Sparkling, frosted on cold air:/Christmas baubles catching sun.’
Whiteness, frost, ice and cold air are recurrent motifs in this selection of Patrick Osada’s poems. He is skilful at creating not only a sense of place but an equally vivid sense of weather, especially winter weather that is windy and stormy with ‘A hard frost glinting’ in ‘bright white moonlight’ ('A Week of Frost').
Settings are evocative in this collection. Many places are named. Throughout, the backcloth is nature with its flowers, trees, animals and birds – a host of birds. Frequently the atmosphere is both magical and mysterious. Roseland is described as an ‘elemental place’ where ‘the headland fog holds fast’ and ‘Spirits and wraiths are free to roam.’ Together with the author, we feel we have returned ‘Like strangers to an ancient land’. ('Valley of the Kites').
Many beautiful poems in How the Light Gets In’ are written in the best pastoral tradition. Conversely, there is bitterness and grief at what has been lost in the name of technology and attendant materialism. The section called ‘Place’ is introduced by a quotation from Philip Larkin’s 'Going, Going' where everything special in the land may ‘linger’ but will most likely be eradicated by ‘concrete and tyres’. The new world that Patrick Osada is afraid will exist – already exists – is marginal, unwelcoming and toxic.
Review in SOUTH 58
Patrick Osada's attractively presented sixth collection (77 poems – old and new) is
intriguingly titled: a nod to Leonard Cohen and perhaps Hemingway. Nature, place and spirit
intertwine. He shares with us the “pleasure” he finds like Byron “in pathless woods”.
He opens appropriately with “Early Today”: a gentle, touching euphony (one of his words) of
thrush song “scattering remnants of soft sleep” with its almost hypnagogic quality in “the
border of night's dream”, setting the tone: thoughtful, rhythmic, caring, passionately felt,
His poetry is visual and full of sound. Birds fly through the pages: “Larks Ascending” with
their musical links and the “boisterous, squawking, noisy mob” of starlings in “Force of
Nature”. He plays with form and structure: see the simplicity and intensity of the seven
haikus in “A Week of Frost”.
The settings and inspiration are often local and clearly much loved. He strides off with us
through Larks Hill and Warfield, sometimes further afield to Cornwall, even Rome. He shares
Larkin's fear “that England will be gone”: the “careless ease” of hedge destruction in “Chain
Flail” and “Nightmare” with its Lennon like refrain “Imagine no more horses...”. He enjoys
his musical references.
I enjoyed his gentle anthropomorphic treatment of the “Willow” - a “mirrored, lonely, lovely
girl” and also the touching “Still Life with Feathers”.
The last section is understandably more contemplative. In “Rosary” “...each day a prayer”. “Still” is powerful and heartbreaking: “He was to be their special gift…born sleeping
An earlier poem “Beyond St Clement” begins with “silent contemplation” and ends with “Light on water, timeless place ... and acumen”. In this collection we find acumen, euphony, wit - Patrick Osada at his contemplative best. A “natural” poet, a distinctive accessible voice that moves, provokes and opens our eyes to the “pathless woods”. He shows us “How the Light Gets In”.
I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger. The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Patrick Osada is a retired Headteacher, now working as an editor & reviewer of poetry for magazines. He helps to run SOUTH Poetry Magazine, one of the longest running poetry magazines in England. ( http://www.southpoetry.org ) Patrick has been writing poetry all of his adult life. His first success came with a prize-winning poem in a national poetry competition. This gave him the confidence to submit his work more widely, leading to regular publication of his poetry in many of the leading poetry magazines.
Patrick’s first collection, CLOSE TO THE EDGE was published in 1996. It won the prestigious ROSEMARY ARTHUR AWARD and was submitted for The Forward Prize.
His second collection, SHORT STORIES : SUBURBAN LIVES was published in 2004 followed by ROUGH MUSIC in 2006 and CHOOSING THE ROUTE in 2010. CHANGES, Patrick’s fifth collection, was published in January 2017, his current collection, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN, was published in 2018.
Patrick’s work has been included in many anthologies, on internet sites and broadcast on national and local radio in the UK. His poetry has been translated into several European languages and has appeared in anthologies published in a number of different countries. For more about Patrick’s work, visit : http://www.poetry-patrickosada.co.uk
1.What inspired you to write poetry?
I suppose poetry has always been with me. As a small child my mother taught me nursery rhymes and read poetry. Looking back, I realise how wide a choice of children’s poetry I enjoyed, ranging from Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and De La Mare’s “Peacock Pie,” to Edward Lear’s “nonsense” poems, Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” and “Now we are Six” and, later, Belloc’s “Cautionary Tales.”
2.Who introduced you to poetry?
As I have already explained, I was introduced to poetry as a very young child. However, as a teenager, I was only interested in sport, any kind of reading – let alone poetry – was viewed as a chore and imposition. My saviour was a teacher called C.A.Broome who introduced me to the poets of the First World War as part of my “O” level English course. Suddenly the poems of Rosenburg, Thomas, Blunden and, particularly, Owen, Sassoon, and Henry Reed totally captured my interest and imagination. I realised that poetry could move me in a special way…and I was hooked.
3.How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
From my introduction to the poets of the First World War, I discovered that two famous war poets, F.W.Harvey and Ivor Gurney, were both linked to my home county, Gloucestershire. Later I discovered their association with The Dymock Poets, including Robert Frost and Edward Thomas. At college, my studies introduced me to poets varying from Chaucer, Dryden, Milton and Shakespeare to Keats, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Clare. One of my tutors, the famous Welsh poet Leslie Norris, introduced his students to a rising star, the Sussex poet, Ted Walker. I discovered Dylan Thomas, Betjeman, Larkin and Hughes and went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the “Beat Poets”, including Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti and Corso with the British poets Adrian Mitchell and Michael Horovitz…So, as you can see, “the dominating presence of older poets” has always been with me, ‘though I always have regarded them as inspirational rather than dominating.
4.What is your daily writing routine?
I don’t have one!! I don’t write poetry on a daily basis…I write when I have to. I am not one of those writers who works to a timetable, I only write when inspiration and compulsion demand. For me, poetry is a bit like a major illness – stopping normal life and demanding my full attention when it strikes…
5.What motivates you to write?
Anything can act as a prompt to write. Usually a thought, idea or experience will work away in my mind (like grit in an oyster) and start to form the basis for a poem. When this happens I need to quickly jot down words, phrases or lines that come to mind, together with notes (a “storyboard”) of what I want to say. Once this is done I can usually translate this material into a poem… but if I fail to undertake this process the poem evaporates! Consequently I have been known to get up in the middle of the night to write…
I agree with Philip Larkin’s excellent description of what motivates the writing of a poem, it is …”to construct a verbal device that would preserve an experience indefinitely by reproducing it in whoever read the poem.”
6.What is your work ethic?
I’m not sure how to apply this question to writing poetry! In most other things hard work equals reward, but in poetry I suppose a successful poem brings personal satisfaction.
7.How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I’m still reading many of the same poets that I have discovered during a lifetime of reading poetry. I presume that I have absorbed influences along the way, something, perhaps, my readers may be able to identify…
8.Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Sadly, most of the poets I admire are now dead. I don’t think there are any poets writing today able to match, for instance, Larkin, Hughes, Gunn and Heaney or the three Thomases – Edward, Dylan & R.S. Of living poets I would mention Motion, Duffy Michael Longley and Americans, Sharon Olds and Thomas Lynch.
I probably own more collections by Gillian Clarke than books by any other living poet. I admire the way she blends traditional writing skills with her ability to capture the Welsh countryside and its people.
Two poets I know personally and would recommend are Ian Caws (an Eric Gregory Award winner) for the wonderful way he records life on the Sussex Downs and coast – his technique is sure-footed and his rhyme unobtrusive; Andrew Geary, a newcomer whose first collection, “A Shoal of Powan,” promises great things to come.
9.Why do you write?
I write because I have to… As I said earlier, writing poetry is a compulsion, something I will continue to do until inspiration and “my muse” desert me.
10.What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
In the first instance, I write for myself – to satisfy this strange compulsion to express myself in a written form. A lot of my early poems were not shared with anyone. Eventually, I mustered the courage to show my work to family and friends, then to seek publication. My real interest in poetry started as a teenager, leading me to read a lot of poetry throughout my life. I would recommend becoming a reader of poetry as an important a step for any aspiring poet. A lot about style, form and poetic technique can be learnt in this way…
11.Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the momen
I am currently promoting my 6th. And latest collection, “How The Light Gets In”… As this is my latest “project” it is receiving a lot of attention – however, I am glad to say, my poems are still being written!
OTHER NEWS ROUND-UP :
I have five poems in the Nature Anthology, HIPPOCRENE, from LITTORAL PRESS
SOUTH 59 was successfully launched in Basingstoke on May 22nd. Full details on the SOUTH website.
My FIFTH collection, CHANGEScan be purchased via Amazon, at all good
bookshops and from my publishers Dempsey & Windle. However I am also
making it available to my friends, readers and supporters at a special price via
this website...see bottom of this page for details!
CHANGES was chosen by THE POETRY KIT (www.poetrykit.org ) as their BOOK of the MONTH (February 2017)
REVIEWS OF CHANGES and COMMENTS :
(in chronological order)
Patrick Osada — Changes. Dempsey & Windle, 2017. 72 pp. £7.99 ISBN 978-1-
The final poem is often the best way into a collection and Changes supports this
view. The first stanza of ‘Anniversary’ runs “Uncertain that my memory serves me
well—/ my nose pressed to the window of the past/ for images that flicker like old
film/ with action blurred and features lost to chance.”. This brings together Osada’
s approach to his themes throughout Changes’ three sections— Seasonal, At a Time
of Unrest, and Keepsake — together with his preferred use of regular metrical form,
often rhymed. Here the half rhyme (past/chance) has a pleasing lightness of touch,
avoiding the heaviness that can sometimes come with full rhyme.
Osada’s presentation of the calendar year through plants and weather is both
immediate and also layered in memory and questions: on seeing a fox at mid-day ‘
… we all rubbed our eyes at what we’d seen.’ In ‘Last Reunion’ the geese whose
annual visit marked the year leave, only to be replaced - ‘… men came with plans:/
Theodolites cast shadows over land.’. The then/now continuum/contrast is a unifying
feature — childhood memories confronted by present-day reality. In ‘Shards’ Osada
shows us men, working by hand, fitting a plate glass window into a local store, and
then the modern version: machines, vacuum suction cups, and glazing that seals life
inside city tower blocks. This layering of time works particularly well in ‘Monuments’, -
‘Immortalized in bronze, he’s caught mid-fight,/ rushing to catch the Hull to London
train/ as if it were that Saturday in May/ when what he saw and wrote secured his
fame.’ No need to name the poet or the writing here; Osada trusts his readers.
This collection answers its own question: ‘How do we keep alive what once we
were?’ (from ‘Lost Boy’). Attention to changes and the continuing work of
transforming these into words hold everything together.
D A Prince
Susan Henderson, novelist (Harper Collins), New York :
“What a gorgeous collection of poems!
Some favourites : Frost Flowers, Still Life With Feathers, Last Reunion, Rosary,
Secret, Death Of The Poet, Off The Map, To The End Of The Road, Keepsake and
IAN CAWS, poet, writes :
"I was drawn to the poems about Patrick's parents towards the end of the book. SUNFLOWERS and HAWK attracted me very much, though, with such an even collection, it seems almost wrong to pick poems out. It is such a satisfying collection ...A good book to have."
In a long review in HQ Magazine (47/48) Kevin Bailey writes :
The poems in this book spoke to me as a member of a mature fraternity...because, for the older person, they are echoes or mirrors held up to experience — for a younger reader they describe an unexplored land — not full of monsters, but full of beasts and terrain that must be mapped and understood if they are one day to settle there...Ultimately this book by Patrick Osada offers a decent dose of purchasable hope in the form of damn fine poetry...
Click this link for the Greg Freeman's review at WRITE OUT LOUD