- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Time Alone on a Quiet Path
By Ross Jackson
Ross Jackson is an astute observer of life, the aloneness of people and otherness. Delivered in a compelling conversational manner, the poems traverse the suburbs of Perth and beyond to other places and cultures: Sydney, Bali, Japan and America. At times about an ageing self in the present day, animals in particular dogs feature as constant companions. The work is filled with detailed images that can be witty, sad or macabre, quirky, cheeky, or painterly. This is a delightfully entertaining collection.
This substantial collection holds the reader with its unique voice and finely crafted language. In each section, the poems build on and inform each other, while their major themes thread throughout with compassion and wry humour.
Whether as flaneur or master print-maker, Ross Jackson takes us through suburban streets and interior spaces, relationships, the ‘other’, street life, isolation, ageing and death, regret, and haiku-like moments of connection or joy. Here are the accommodations of restricted lives, the edgy Summer Frying on Oats Street, Hopper-like interiors, a small elegy for two dogs. We find ‘night parrots of the street’, and ‘deep wells of our dignity’. This is a collection to be savoured.