“Patience opens with a watch being dissected, laid bare on a table with the delicacy and patience of a dedicated craftsman. This collection is a reverence to time and where memories lie in places, objects, a lover’s touch, shipping forecast or in a mother counting for days. Nina Lewis is deft and sensitive in speaking of grief and loss, of love and desire, of caring for the elderly. Her words and phrases are weighted with a lightness of touch, capturing golden moments with a watchmaker’s accuracy. She is determined to create a living record, to have the last say in the presence of illness and death, leaving us with codes for the broken and an encouragement ‘to learn the art of waiting’.” Roy McFarlane
“The poems in Patience address problems of the human condition with a subtleness in technique, a gentleness in approach and a fresh outlook that avoids the cliché or overstatement such poetic themes can sometimes acquire; these poems are beautifully balanced, carefully crafted and the emotional content is all the more powerful because it is so well weighed. Some of these poems subtly convey the sense of a physical loss, others explore the trials of separation and the difficult adjustment in relationships. Grief is expressed but they also remind us of the power of human connection. Joy is held in our memories; in ‘Signs’, there is ‘the glow of orange even in dark beginnings’. These poems touch deeply and yet maintain a calm and measured face. Nina Lewis holds in her hands cogs of isolation, grief and loss moving along the wheels of love, of hope and of patience.” Julie Boden
Patience is very intimate and very fond.
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The Dark House
It started life as a home,
until the red bricks,
colour of rust, were abandoned.
The empty house
bore the brunt of nature;
tilted slates let water in.
It became a habitat
for shadow animals,
At night, the edges of its frame
were accentuated by bypass lights:
silhouette house, secret of wild hedge.
The road beyond the garden
In sleep I walk the dark house,
enter the ash kitchen,
feel my way across charcoal tiles,
my paper feet never find the rooms,
never make it to the stairs.
I awake to light
spinning my darkened dreams.
I keep my eyes closed,
until only blue remains.