Mike was born in 1947 in Glasgow. His work has been a kaleidoscope of adventure across the globe. He was a roughneck on a rig drilling for water and chainman to a surveyor in the Australian outback. Later, he was part of a seismic exploration team looking for oil in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo. In between all this, Mike was also a professional actor along with dishwashing, bartending, fruit picking and much more thrown in for good measure. Mike and his wife have lived in London for the last 43 years. He has three stepsons, one daughter-in-law, and one grandson. Michael won a book of poetry at the age of four, from which his father read to him the poems. This, the beginning of a life-long passion.
We are delighted to introduce Mike Gordon’s Poetry Collection “The Walking Bird”. We spoke to Mike, and he shared some of his thoughts on the collection as well as snippets of his fascinating life story.
Anita, Poetry Cooperative: Talk to us about your poetry, please, Mike:
My poetry, when young, consisted mainly of poems, which on reflection, had their meaning obscured by obscurity! The voice that I subsequently discovered, in my mid-forties, was, by contrast, the complete antithesis of this. Short, very brief, and simple. Enough to capture the essence of the world? I believe so.
Our language is limited and at times, seems quite inadequate for our attempts at capturing any given feeling or situation, which in itself, gives reason for poetry. Yet too often I feel that, in this pursuit, we make complex that which is simple. My short poems are my attempt to remedy that.
Anita: What can readers expect from The Walking Bird?
The poems in The Walking Bird are mainly from the last 25/30 years. They can and do reflect only one person’s life. My hope is that the readers will find for themselves, what we share in common.
Two exceptions to the above are the title poem, The Walking Bird which was written when I was sixteen. This poem posed the question, why the need to paint a dot. A question that resonates for me as much today as it did then, irrespective of the fact that, by publishing The Walking Bird, I have done precisely that and painted my dot. The second poem is, All in the hopes of being wise, which is the last poem in the book. I wrote it when I was eleven, and I have included it for sentiment and because it can still make me smile.
Both poems, wordwise, remain as written. Only the line structure has been changed, in keeping with my present-day style.
Truth, perhaps, may very well be a moveable feast. Writing poetry for me, however, demands an honesty that is so often lacking in my day to day life. Poetry demands and allows for such honesty, even if there may be future doubts. This offers an excitement and a balance, to the world around me, that I would be bereft without.
The Walking Bird will take you to where I’ve been; love, loss, youth, old age, happiness, unhappiness, contentment and discontentment. In my poetry, you find attempts to hammer out a philosophy that I can live with and that will live with me. And all the while with a liberal dose of humour. The sugar to coat the pill.”
More about Mike
Today, Mike runs two companies; Alchemy Press, ( publisher of “The Walking Bird” along with Amazon KDP) and Alchemy Music Ltd.
Check out “No money, no honey, cheap Charlie” on YouTube. You may also like to check out Mike on Damien Donnelly’s “Eat the Storms Poetry Podcast”. Look for episode 5 in season 4, and 23 minutes into the podcast, you’ll get to the bit with Mike.
You can order a copy of The Walking Bird by clicking on the image above.
Clearer to See Through – a Poem
I write on sand. It turns to glass. Clearer to see through.
The Walking Bird – a Review
Mike’s view of the world around him is both engaging and thought provoking. Written from when he was eleven years old to the present day, mundane made vibrant, complex made simple – I would recommend this collection of short poems to all and look forward to the second edition!Courtney Crouch on Amazon
You can follow Mike on Twitter at @IamMike_Gordon
Mike Gordon on Eat the Storms
Listen to Mike speaking to Damien Donnelly on the Eat the Storms poetry podcast.