Author Interview: Philip Dodd

Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle by Philip Dodd. Read my Author Interview on Amid the Imaginary.

Amid The Imaginary

PHILIP DODD

It was my pleasure to interview Philip Dodd, author of the light-hearted science-fiction novel “Klubbe and the Golden Star Coracle”. It was definitely a fun read and perfect for these summer days. You can read the full review here.

Below are my questions in italics followed by Philip’s complete, unaltered answers.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Philip Dodd. I was born in 1952, live in Liverpool, England, have a degree in English literature from Newcastle University, and I have been writing songs, poems and stories since I was twelve.

My first book, “Angel War“, was published in April, 2013, and my second book, “Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle”, was published in March, 2015. “Angel War” was chosen as a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for 2013, I am pleased to say.

I have had poems published in…

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Balamku

Balamku

( Lines inspired by my visit to the exhibition called Mayas: Revelation of an Endless Time, World Museum, Liverpool, England. )

A mask of jade and shell
to outlast your face of bone and skin,
your portrait, Balamku,
to wear when the long path you begin.

Your people live in the museum,
at least those who carved in stone.
I saw the head of the pelican,
the gods who woke the worlds alone.

A woman writing
one carving was named.
A jaguar lept from the jungle
that was never tamed.

The conquest of the New World
is how they remember what was done
to the Maya of the corn fields,
who built the Pyramid of the Sun.

In galleons like sailing forts
with sword and cannon ball,
the invaders from the ocean
brought about the Mayan fall.

They cared not for your wisdom
or where your corn was stored.
It was your gold they wanted,
enough to call a hoard.

Your spirit is free now, Balamku,
as when you were a Mayan child,
free of feuds and stones of sacrifice,
to your temple run, through the jungle wild.

To my comfort, your people live on, Balamku.
They preserve your pyramids, your calendars of time.
They have not forgotten you.
Let me now humbly bless the Maya in my rhyme.

Nothing Is Over

Nothing Is Over

The first rush over, friendship may fade,
people get used to each other,
that is the truth, I’m afraid.
The contact cut, the door is shut,
blocks are broken on the path you made.
But you can still count your blessings,
be thankful you knew them at all.
They never leave you in your memory.
Even if they cannot hear you, wish them well.
Say may they ever rise and never fall.

Street lamp halo comforts on a dark walk home,
though clouds refuse to let you see the stars.
But you know they’re out there, they have not gone,
silence deepens below absence of cars.
On doorsteps milk bottles tinkle, morning comes.
The old tunes he likes the milk man hums.

Nothing is over that you don’t want to end,
even when you see a silent shadow
where once stood your friend.

Piano music paddles through the pools of night,
for all the fools who believe in light,
for those who climbed the ladder to get it right,
who opened windows and then took flight.

Light In The Loft

Light In The Loft

No ambulance siren will see me through this traffic,
no monastery will give me sanctuary.
Police cars parked on the side of the road,
waiting for the next emergency.

Down the steps, I found no shelter on the cellar floor,
no protection on the balcony.
I climbed the ladder to the tower top,
light in the loft shining steadily.

No space craft we build will ever take us to the stars,
no fertile planet waits to be our home.
We should have looked after what we had,
the desert we should not need to roam.

What does it mean to desire the peaks of power?
I tried to glimpse it but was never sure.
Over the borders come the refugees.
How heal the hearts broken by the war?

In my dream, I was walking through fields of corn on fire,
all I carried, my Bible and my cross.
Others saw me, a stranger who had lost,
no words to speak after such a loss.

My wish as a child was to be a light house keeper,
saving sailors from the rocks out at sea.
I still heard crying from among the waves,
so many fled but could not be free.

The hammer clangs on the anvil and forges the sword.
We come in peace, no weapons in our hands.
All we request is that you rule us well,
allow us to live in our own lands.

Now I climb the ladder to see the light in the loft,
look through windows that were not there before.
Somehow I know the lamp is always lit,
it will reveal the long lost, hidden door.

Moment In The Glass

Moment In The Glass

For an intellectual ant
the evidence is scant.
We know of the busy bee
and the irritating flea,
but I bet the dust
on the wings of a butterfly,
to be what they are,
no insect had to try.

Now the eccentric eel
may befriend a whiskered seal,
and all human wisdom must pale
compared to the deeps
plunged by the whale,
and in a quiz who would win,
the ostrich or the penguin?
The purpose of the porpoise
is not that of the tortoise.
Not only the hippopotamus
is an ignoramus
when it comes to the existence
of the platypus.

A fly stretched forth its two front feelers,
for an eye bat, held them still,
then scraped them together,
lifted its wings and flew off where it will.
I looked for it among its fellows in the grass,
but it was gone, like its moment in the glass.

Her Piano Tune

Her Piano Tune

She played her love in a minor key,
to say it was deep, not sad.
Her piano found her melody,
the best tune she ever had.

Clarinet jazz in dim city bars,
solo saxophones on stage,
trumpet traffic droned with horns of cars,
scored the unharmonic age.

She still had tools to build her tower,
tunes too fine for violin,
eternal tapped in a passing hour
was the music of within.

So she pedalled her piano slow,
hurt by crimes heard on the news.
Her cargo she had the strength to tow,
found the chords to play the blues.

She stayed alone in the concert hall
with red roses in her hand.
As waves and the wind will lift and fall,
she still wades towards her land.

Dreamed she flew in a white aeroplane,
from the engine came no sound.
She counted clouds, flowing hills of rain
that fell far with her to ground.

Described her house like a hollow tree,
her melody had no name.
From her harbour, launched it on the sea,
to sail beyond pain and blame.

Always My Muse

Always My Muse

Time and space,
maps measure the distance to face,
streams lead to rivers,
roads from city to sea,
only in dreams do we travel free.
No, you will learn nothing new from me,
for I think and write plainly,
my words mirror faintly my mind,
my spirit moves me,
to seek more deeply, scribe more finely,
but what I report
falls short of what I may find.

Comfort and grace,
often the path back I trace,
to when I but a schoolboy,
twelve years old, in my early chapter,
scrawled on a scrap of brown paper,
with a pencil too blunt to taper,
my first verses, inspired by love songs,
heard on the radio,
and ever since I have written,
my one gift I know will not go.

Whatever happens, my words will continue.
Always my muse, the woman stood on the stairway,
my name she says, gently,
to wake me, make me breathe surely,
feel warm, purely happy,
her smile upon me tells me she will not betray,
when her vision fades, she will stay.