Silence Craves A Voice consists of 50 poems divided into the sections of chronicles of humankind’s damage to the natural world, immersions in the resilient beauty of that world and affirmations of reconnection. It could serve well as a basic text for every eco-warrior seeking their own voice for advocacy and redemptive change in relation to our world. Without being preachy, the poems assert that “In a time when we all had our way/ we squandered our moment/ and dreams of empire were/ lost to dust and thistle;” and without sentimentality they can describe the crow “bleeding black, it discards clouds” or Canada geese as “They rose in a gust/ to climb the September sky.”
If Neil brings a naturalist’s love of subject he also brings an academic’s competence to his writing, and the student of poetics will appreciate his facility with both rhyme and free verse, tercet, incantation, prose-poem and more. This is not an enumeration of skills, but an invitation to relax, for the poet speaks in the terms best suited to subject and perception. It is a book to dip into in the morning to give direction to one’s day.