I am a retired Headteacher living in Warfield, Berkshire, England. I work as an editor and also write reviews of poetry for magazines. I am a member of the Management Team for SOUTH Poetry Magazine. My first collection, Close to the Edge was published in 1996 & won the prestigious ROSEMARY ARTHUR AWARD, currently it is not in print. My second collection, Short Stories : Suburban Lives and my third volume, Rough Music, have been published in England by BLUECHROME. My fourth volume was Choosing the Route, published by IDP My fifth collection, Changes and my previous collection, How The Light Gets In, were published by Dempsey & Windle.
Information about my new collection, From The Family Album, can be found in the "HOME" section of this website.
My work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies and on the internet and in translation.
My poetry has been broadcast on national & local radio in Great Britain.
INFORMATION ABOUT MY PREVIOUS COLLECTION :
My sixth, and previous collection is How The Light Gets In :
Reviews: How the Light Gets In
Here is the cover of How The Light Gets In, 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 publishers Dempsey & 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 of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN :
“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 fromWarfield 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
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, controlled.
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”.
My sixth collection, HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN and my FIFTH collection, CHANGES can be purchased via Amazon, at all good bookshops and from my publishers Dempsey & Windle.
However I am also making both books available to my friends, readers and supporters at a special price via this website of £6 (including P & P) for CHANGES and £7 (including P & P) for How The Light Gets In... contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHANGES was chosen by THE POETRY KIT (www.poetrykit.org) as their BOOK of the MONTH (February 2017)
Reviews and Comments about CHANGES :
(in chronological order)
Patrick Osada — Changes. Dempsey & Windle, 2017. 72 pp. £7.99 ISBN 978-1-907435-362
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 SOUTH Poetry Magazine
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 hopein the form of damn fine poetry...”
Click this link for the Greg Freeman's review at WRITE OUT LOUD
MORNING STAR “Well Versed In Family Matters” - 21st. Century Poetry with
Andy Croft :
“For Patrick B Osada, every memory is like the tip of an iceberg, floating unsteadily
above the “submerged” history of our lives. Part of his new collection Changes
(Dempsey and Windle, £7.99) is a series of childhood memory poems, most notably
the wonderful To the End of the Road, about learning to ride a bike with his dad.
These are paired with poems about his mother in old age, living on the border
between unreliable memory and an uncertain present. It’s a sometimes bleak book,
full of cold weather, changing seasons and “remembered suffering” but there are also
some perfect moments, as when he recalls his father looking back on his childhood:
“And when I stop beneath those limes today,/through half-shut eyes while lulled by humming bees,/I conjure in the shade another shade — /the shadow of the man he used to be.”
Here is the full cover (front and back) of CHANGES
...and this is what is says on the back cover :
Patrick Osada's fifth collection explores the impact of change on every aspect of our
lives, from seasonal effects to those specific to people and places.
“ CHANGESis a rich, varied collection, whose three sections, while distinct in tone
and theme, complement each other in satisfying and often unexpected ways.
'Seasonal' is characterised by Osada's keen evocations of the natural world and
celebration of seasonal variation. In 'At a Time of Unrest' the poet explores moments
and places and their significance, embracing the darker sides of human experience
with quiet yet compelling understatement. 'Keepsake' is more nostalgic and elegiac
in tone and proves a fitting conclusion to this moving, memorable and, above all,
deeply human collection of poems.”Jeremy Page, Editor The Frogmore Papers
Writing about CHANGES, reviewer and poet David Ashbee says :
"Patrick Osada has long been the master of traditional verse celebrating the natural
world. Here he extends his range to the changing environment and, especially
powerfully, his own family heritage."
“A beautiful book about emotional weather, recording the bleak music of winter, wind and rain, loneliness and loss.” Andy Croft, Smokestack Books
For my friends, readers and supporters:
Purchase a signed copy of CHANGES ( RRP £7.99) including P& P for only£6
This offer is only available to my readers through this website. To purchase books please contact me at :
CLOSE TO THE EDGE
My first collection,winner of The Rosemary Arthur Award, is currently not in print.
SHORT STORIES : SUBURBAN LIVES
Many small communities have lost their identities as they have been engulfed by suburban sprawl. Lives have been dramatically altered by the challenges of urban life.
This collection sets out to consider the varied and sometimes surprising events of suburbia. For some it offers a welcome anonymity; for others it is a stage, but many remain isolated and lonely, living in a sea of houses...
"Patrick B. Osada's second collection is the immensely confident work of a writer who combines accessibility with a fine appreciationof an enormous range of forms...Short Stories : Suburban Lives impresses with its length and diversity, and Osada, in returning to the village setting of Edward Thomas's famous poem, uses familiar form in a new way : in AdlestropAgain he recovers something unexpected in the vastly changed, yet still evocative place :
Still no one left and no one came that way
So I drove on as skies grew mistier
Through rains of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.Adlestrop Again
In this apparently desultory imagery and rhyme, breathes an intrepid and important new English voice." WILL DAUNT ENVOI
In ROUGH MUSIC, I have attempted to record many everyday and seasonal events of the place where I live. I have been doing this for a number of years and many of the bucolic poems from my earlier collections are also set in this area of Berkshire.
I claim nothing exceptional for Warfield - in terms of history, scenery or wild life. There are places with more tales to tell, areas that are more beautiful, or enjoy exotic or protected flora or fauna. What makes it special for me, my neighbours and the many visitors who come here to walk, ride or cycle is the very fact that much of Warfield remains untouched and unspoilt in an area riven by motorways and so close to the concrete towers of “New Town” Bracknell…. It is still possible to be in touch with a life and landscape which has been obliterated by “planners and developers” in other less fortunate villages.
This collection is, in part, a response to the plans of the local council and developers to build up to 2,200 house on semi-rural land, changing for ever the nature of this area...
Once the bulldozers move in the deer, that have roamed this area for 1,000 years, will move on and with them many other species will leave.
With tarmac and streetlights Warfield will be submerged beneath a sea of houses, its traditions and rural atmosphere destroyed…
In the face of “progress” and the mindless plans of those happy to see Warfield turned into an “urban extension” of Bracknell, I offer up these poems as a celebration of local life and scenery and a warning of what we stand to lose.
"In his third volume, Rough Music (bluechrome), Osada's lyricism and social concern are again evident. In the Warfield Poems his poetry is lyrically bucolic. However, his pastoral themes are underpinned by a concern with loss and the potential ravaging of village and countryside by planners and property developers. Away from the countryside Osada populates his collection with a diverse range of characters - some famous, some iconic. He again demonstrates a lively concern with contemporary issues and attitudes, all reflected through a prism of compassion and wry humour."
"This collection shows great strength of feeling and achievement...ROUGH MUSIC has a substantial core of finely crafted poems which will stand the test of time."
James Roderick BurnsNEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW
Osada is a poet able to work with emotion, a poet who can take small events and small places, observe them precisely and elucidate them with a deft touch to reveal our shared humanity and the moments of connection."
Jan Fortune-Wood, Coffee House Poetry
CHOOSING THE ROUTE
CHOOSING THE ROUTE
“How do we live our lives? – In hope or despair?
Whilst some navigate the world with careful planning, others are reactive and impulsive…
What part is played by destiny, chance and happenstance?
In Choosing the RoutePatrick B. Osada celebrates life’s journey.
His poems are insightful and engaging. He views the natural world and human relationships with compassion and sometimes through the lens of sardonic wit. From the lyrical lament of star-crossed lovers, to a gritty exploration of divorce,his poems shift in shape and time, yet retain a remarkably honest, authentic and demotic voice.”
Indigo Dreams Publishing
CHOOSING THE ROUTE
Published by Indigo Dreams PublishingISBN 978-1-907401-13-8
CHOOSING THE ROUTE (recommended retail price £7.50) for£6.00 (including postage and packing).
FOR ALL PERSONAL ORDERS:
contact me email@example.com
REVIEW FROM HQ Magazine:
“It is always good to get a refreshingly traditional collection of poetry to read – the ‘simple’ pleasure of having the bounce and music of rhyme and alliteration to carry you along…And this is getting to be a rarer pleasure as contemporary poetry wanders lost in the wilderness, unsure of its bearings or direction.
Patrick Osada is another poet who’s work has matured and settled wonderfully. His collection, Choosing the Route (Indigo Dreams Publishing, £7.50) is wide-ranging in subject matter and every turn of the page brings new ideas and images that paint pictures in the mind…”
Review by Kevin Bailey in HQ Poetry Magazine 43/44 (September 2014)