Right on cue it rolls in like fog, ferrying my dark passenger, my black dog.
It slopes into my room, kicks off its shoes, sits itself down by my bed, starts to accuse
me of all sorts. The same old barbs. Guilt billows like a flapping tarp.
The world turns askance on its axis as I sink in the sheets. Thoughts draw up like taxis
after closing time. Like the leaves I lie still for hours, lost in the folds, wondering why
I do this on a daily basis; why I became locked in this part; why I keep stabbing myself in my own heart.
Ross Thompson's début collection inhabits the silent and strange time between the gloaming and the dawn, those slow hours when the civilised world is fast asleep but other wanderers are haunted by regret, doubt and longing for a soft pillow.
Sometimes eerie, sometimes funny, always human, these poems are home to a cast of lost souls,wolves, killer bears, dancing girls, ghost ships, missing mountaineers and a talking, know-it-all dog.
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Ross Thompson has been writing in one form or another for years, including a PhD on The Beat Poets and dozens of articles filed while working as a freelance journalist. He is an advocate of rhyme, rhythm and structure, and is particularly fond of sonnets. Distinct recurrent themes are: broken relationships, the power of memory, the fragility of human life, cinema, and the challenges posed by living as a committed Christian.
Each of his poems is shot through with one part comedy and two parts tragedy. There is a direct and occasionally uncomfortable honesty to his work but it is always leavened by a keen sense of humour. At times, his work is narrative as it tells a story or recounts a painful recollection. At others, his writing is more oblique as it reaches towards something intangible and indistinct.
Ross currently teaches English and performs regularly at various literary events. He lives in Bangor with his family and mischievous dog. He was the winner of the FSNI National Poetry Competition 2013, for his poem 'Icarus'.