Deeley is a quiet poet, as opposed to the public and media-hungry ones, and his work is quiet and passionately dignified.
Our sawmill tested me, and I the lumberjack myth –
in Galway woods.  The blade’s
haranguing journey through each ash, opened a gap
in my beliefs…
                              - ‘Red Sash’
Not only in the wooded west, but in the jungle of Rathgar, Deeley roots out the rural and the timeless.  The first poem in this collection, ‘Rathgar Pastoral’, is a wonderfully satisfying piece, eschewing possible sentimentalism for a direct need to link with good things past:
                                                    …What was then
open country is all but inner suburb; swallowed, too,
the calp quarry and its over-spilling lake…
A quirky diversion from all this obvious pastorality is ‘Domestic Hitch’, where Deeley introduces, or allows the introduction of, a green of another kind.  Here, a mechanical (urban) device fails to work when a domestic squabble or ‘storm’ (wilderness, untamedness, the opposing rural), blows up.  Deeley brings everything to a reasonable conclusion by making the human work a sort of conciliatory magic:
…we’ll coax the window gently,
gently click into lost automatic.
Patrick Deeley is one of those remarkable poets for whom the raw immensity of the rural will, one suspects, always hold the ultimate imaginative fascination and whose poems are reflections of a gifted and gifting sense of wonder and curiosity.  Deeley’s work maintains an elemental dialogue with ordinary things which a great deal of our poetry has stifled.  His poems restore something; just as outside my window as I write this a full moon peered down for an hour, and now it’s gone and something at a very primal level in me wants someone to put it back in the black sky.

© Patrick Deeley 2013. All rights reserved.