“Re-working nature’s contradictions and vulnerabilities, and ultimately its needs and desires with this resolute energy, offers a striking parallel: as women writers we might be seen, but not always heard. For me then, this pamphlet is more than just an excellent example of eco-poetry; it is a sophisticated and spirited example of eco-feminism. This is a Mother Earth who nurtures, protects, provides but is also ‘bounty hunter’ with unmistakable, fierce needs of her own: unapologetically pursued and satisfied. ‘Something beautiful’.”
Katy Wareham Morris
“We do not exist without nature, though more and more these days, we seem to be expected to. In this book, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is used as a narrative to consider the entwining of both nature’s and our own human needs. The book is split into two sections, each headed with its own recreations of the original five-layered hierarchical pyramid. They feel like a catechism – questions that we must keep on asking ourselves.
“The poems are each beautiful and spared from unnecessary clutter – there is such gentleness and consideration to be gained from the reading. Nature is personified and within the poems there is an aching, a longing to be freed from our human bonds – to be able to answer the age-old call of the seasons without our interference.
“Some of the poems writhe with wonderful touches of the fairy tale. Some express nature’s desire to work in harmony with us as it did in days long past. Some stand in stark contrast to our modern, technology reliant world. Some convey a sense of eternal searching, of pain and grief. Some are piquant with our own bodies, loves, families and deaths. Under the current circumstances and the strange times we are living through, this really does feel like a needed book. We could all do with being a bit more tree.”
Hierarchy of Needs is very structured, very inquisitive.
A sample poem from the pamphlet can be enjoyed below.
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Somewhere Between Rose and Black, shortlisted in Saboteur Awards 2018 Best Poetry Pamphlet category.
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A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache.
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For Agatha, who loved this place
I wake slow, see no need to rush,
in this, my centenary year.
I’ve earned this slowness,
have honed the art
of observation since I took root:
planted For Agatha, who loved this place.
My own potential realised,
I know all seasons of people,
have taken their stories down
and filled their lungs in return.
Mothers push their babies around
and I shade their tired eyes,
wish them unbroken sleep tonight.
Children come and go – grow –
race around my sturdy trunk,
build dens inside the hollow of my heart.
They weave up my branches, so light
I shoulder them so they might stretch
towards the sun.
I have seen whole family trees expand.
Generations of the same tribe
picnic together at my feet.
At times, this warms me
more than a summer day:
generations gabbling, together, alive.
Here, I witness life,
snap a twig of hair and carve a quill,
scribe everything into my parchment
to pass on. Collecting roots, truths to tell,
for Agatha, who loved this place.
"The poems in this noticeably direct and unpretentious pamphlet are framed by two pyramid-structured ‘hierarchies of need’ modelled after Abraham Maslow’s 1943 theory of human motivation. One pyramid shows nature’s basic, psychological and growth needs; the other does the same for ‘21st century humans’. The pamphlet sheds light on — and examines the symbiotic relationship between — the two sets of needs. [...]
"This pamphlet is a timely poetic reminder that all life needs to be tended respectfully, by ourselves as well as by others."
Tim Murphy, OPOI on Sphinx Reviews, full review here