The Sealey Challenge - Matt Morden


It’s rare to read a poetry collection and enthuse about every one included in it. Inevitably some poems will resonate with us more than others. But Matt Morden’s collection, Stumbles in Clover (Snapshot Press 2007) has me savouring every single haiku on every single page. I felt like that when I first bought it and feel it again today.

Nigel Jenkins, on the back cover, said, ‘They are as spare and translucent as it’s possible to be, yet they are deeply affecting...’. ‘Spare’ could easily suggest something that has been pared back to the detriment of content and meaning. But Morden has such a wonderful eye for detail, and humanity observed, that his micro poems expand beyond their physical boundaries. They are like miniature doorways into shared emotions, felt experiences. And the natural world, where it appears, always feels, through suggestion, like a parallel to the human one. Enjoy these few.


gathering dusk
my son bowls me out
for the first time


a colleague’s sigh
arrives before he does
monday morning


women’s refuge
sunlight finds the blue
in painted glass


end of the holiday
a square of pale grass
beneath the tent



I mentioned in a previous post that, for me, the best poets and poetry collections are the ones that fire me up to write too. Here are a couple of haiku written today, thanks to Matt Morden.


unsettled weather
she deletes her Whatsapp
while I am reading it


summer’s end
he buys me a chilli plant
called ‘Basket of Fire’