Patrick Deeley’s stunning new collection of poetry, The Bones of Creation, signposts an exciting development in the work of this gifted poet.  Comprising over sixty poems – a prolific output by any standard – it is a revealing statement of his ecological concerns.  A planet under threat has found an eloquent spokesperson for its canny survival even in a landscape as blighted as Tynagh – Say no ground is ever fully dead.
This incisive book is a wakeup call to the rus that is defiantly reasserting itself in the urbs.  Despite the city’s crushing advance and the displacement resulting in its track, the natural world continues to stage a comeback.  With a true poet’s eye Deeley finds it in the unlikeliest places, sprouting from sterile stone (as in Gargoyle): And one tiny red poppy, waving above/ the grey monstrosity, while in Bluebell, a place of pylons and factories, the trouble-boast of a rooster and a piebald horse, standing glum might well signal the Last Post for the survival of such species rather than inspire an optimistic response: all fabulous/ indefatigable creatures restored.  Poem after scintillating poem attests against all the odds to a welcome ecological renaissance.  Chainsaws laying waste Coolattin count far less than the earth’s resilience. 
Far from being confined to the resourceful ‘Callows’, the primal plants its flag in suburban lawns while a badger brings with him to the safer haven of the Dodder a whiff of wilderness from his abandoned stronghold rendered untenable by the blood-sprayed dogs of his baiting.  This intrusion of the elemental and the Gothic makes for gripping ingredients in a collection remarkable for its unity.
Deeley engages with the atavistic and the urban with the skill of a juggler while rolling out with the subtlety of a matchmaker a script for their harmonious union.  The seanchai’s hob may give way to the Digital Hub, but on the evidence of these poems the grounded denizens of an older world triumphally re-emerge to claim new habitats that will replenish an outback of the mind.
The clever use of myth in Scaldcrow, which traces the transformation of the Morrigan, the one-time goddess of war, to a down-graded predator – taking the eye of newborn lamb or crocked horse – is brilliantly executed.
Very poignant are his elegies, especially one to his father (Last Movements):
We dreamed you alive, set your
customary place at table, told ourselves
night would send you strolling back.
Meticulously crafted and couched in a language that ranges from the refreshingly colloquial to the magical, these accessible poems – graced with an unsentimental reverence for nature – will delight and edify the reader. 

     
 
© Patrick Deeley 2013. All rights reserved.