The Joy of A New Book

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The Joy of a New Book

Very little to beat it actually, the joy of receiving and opening a new book, especially when it is one you have written yourself, in cooperation with a group of friends. In this book are the twenty-four (24) poems that I wrote for McAdam Railway Station.

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I went to McAdam to watch Geoff working on his mural and installation (diorama). While there, I heard stories about the railway and started to write them down in stanza form. While I did write them, most of them were based on stories and anecdotes heard or overheard while the guides were guiding the tourists round the site. This is indeed a limited edition. We originally intended to print only 50 copies, but when we heard that there might be up to 300 people at the unveiling of Geoff’s mural, in McAdam, at 1:00 pm, Sunday, 30 June, 2019, we doubled the number of books we printed. I will be donating the majority of the 100 to McAdam Railway Station Historical Association. They can either give them away or sell them to help fund and support the impressive restoration work they are doing.

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“We view history through the rear-view mirror of a rapidly advancing car” … and writing these poems was a veritable journey back into the past. Geoff left his glasses by his half-finished drawing, and that’s when the idea of linking McLuhan to Moore to McAdam occurred. Several of the poems focus on my own experiences of railway stations. Travel by train was a frequent choice in my childhood and  I went almost everywhere by train. A local in-town train ran from the station at the end of our road and I often took it when visiting friends, shopping in town, or following the local soccer team, Cardiff City, aka the Bluebirds. As a result, much of the imagery within the poems involves my own knowledge and love of trains, while the narrative structures themselves are often based on those overheard words.

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We wanted a photo of Geoff and me on the back cover and I discovered this one in my files. The portrait was done by Ruby Allan, my fellow artist in KIRA (June, 2107). She painted Roger Writing in the Red Room from a photo taken by another KIRA resident artist, Carlos Carty, the Peruvian pipe, as I was working at the desk in my room. Geoff framed the portrait and Mrs. Lucinda Flemer gracefully allowed it to be hung over the desk in the Red Room at KIRA, an honor for which I am exceedingly grateful. What a nice way to put our pictures on the cover of our book! If you are down McAdam way this Sunday, 30 June, drop in and see us. We’ll be there. Books and all.



8 thoughts on “The Joy of A New Book

    • Thanks, Tiffany. It’s just a chapbook, really, 24 poems … but they were well received yesterday. I listened to the guides as they were showing people around the station and used many of their words … there are many potential poets in this world, not all of them welcome the talent or bring it to fruition.


    • Thanks, Fran. Things are happening and I am very happy with them. Sometimes I just feel ‘what a long way it is from Pyle Corner and Villiers Street’. You know: that’s where my heart really is. Everything else is so strange and ultimately foreign. Give me Kim, the Bron and Yellow Busses, and the Mumbles Railway any day!!!


  1. Congratulations, Roger, with a side of envy admiration. You “simply” heed Nike: Just do it.

    Jan Hull See my sculpture


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on your book, Sir Raj – though you’re making me cry.McAdam – my mom’s home town.I remember taking the train from St.Andrews to McAdam to visit my grandfather, Eldon Vincent McKay – came home shell-shocked; Italian campaign; held in four separate POW camps. Showed me how to whittle.Those days are gone – grandfather; trains. Even mom, now. Days gone … forever.We press on.

    Liked by 1 person

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