And Yet …
Publisher: WA Poets Publishing
This is the work of a forever-poet in his prime. Haskell’s craft is refined to the point of being indiscernible so that what we are left with is the direct transmission of observation and introspection.
Mortality is no small theme, and it is writ large across these pages. Family, friends and colleagues are resurrected here, magically rounded in a few short stanzas. Touching is the cameo of Haskell’s dying father-in-law, which has the poet himself walking down “too short a corridor”. Equally touching are his musings on the birth of a precious little one: “how you shine the surface of our lives”, bringing gratitude “for what you absorb/and absolve”.
Ekphrasis comes naturally to Haskell, and ‘Hashtag Me Too’ interrogates Rembrandt’s ‘Susanna’ through the lens of a contemporary meme. Here, Susanna is turning “towards us/hidden in the thickets of the future”, looking up “as if she has something to tell us”.
Haskell has many somethings to tell us because, as he somewhat ruefully notes in ‘Holding’, “experiences cleave to me/as naturally as rings surround a tree”.