JANKY TUK TUKS

Below is the second edition of Janky Tuk Tuks available from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/JANKY-TUK-TUKS-Wendy-Holborow/dp/1697334199/ref=sr_1_3?cr

THIS IS A COLLECTION ABOUT THE POET'S TRAVELS TO INDIA AND AFRICA

Wendy Holborow has done it once again with a splendid new collection, her most ambitious yet, based on her recent visits to India and Africa. It contains a 'fabulous rabble' of rattling good poems, and a chilling short fiction, 'Ngozi', which has a twist guaranteed to shake us out of our habitual complacency about the endemic refugee crises not only in Africa, but around the world. This is no mere word-painting or poetry tourism, although difference is celebrated and the poems are full of wordplay and relish of language for its own sake - 'janky tuk tuks', which refer to Indian scooter-taxis, and the 'nielloed silver' of the Nile are just two memorable examples - and she ingeniously mixes traditional verse forms, open field and concrete poetry to convey the richness of the encounter between her imagination and different cultures.                                                                                                                                                    Professor John Goodby

I am always a bit hesitant when someone from a different background attempts to grasp a very ‘foreign’ subject matter, but Holborow’s poems are open and true and have simply connected. Not many people have an intuitive understanding of the culture, yet Holborow’s poetry has an instinctive grasp of the intrinsic in the face of the sometimes absurd.  This collection is brilliantly portrayed and entertaining.                                                      Sarada Thompson 

The harsh winds of the Welsh winter are blowing in, you want to escape to the sun, to India or Africa. You can't afford it or you don't have the time. Then this book is almost better than being there. The light, heat, noise, flora and fauna, and sublime silences of India and Africa are perfectly captured in this superb poetry collection. The title 'Janky Tuk Tuks' refers to the three-wheeled motorized vehicles used as taxis throughout India, and that country's road system is wonderfully brought to life in the poem "The Highway Code of India". The poems in this are in turns funny, sad, insightful, but always beautiful. The collection concludes with a short story set in Africa.                                 Phil Knight

An excellent review on The London Grip April 2019

https://londongrip.co.uk/2019/04/london-grip-poetry-review-wendy-holborow/

SAMPLE POEMS

MONSOON

 

peacocks herald monsoons

elaborate tails grow & spread

discerning a difference in the air —

the land astir,                      rouses

          from a prolonged sleep

                                     

yellow skies & the sun        shifts

to shades of lavender

 

lightning                        thunder

a leaden band of louring clouds

like a dam      primed     to burst

& rain like chair legs

lashes the land

cries in every crevice

crushes scent from flowers

 

people vacate houses

                                                               up

step out of cars               lift faces

to the pelting rain, relish every drop

 

rain triggers lush new growth

fresh pastures for wildlife

cows & dogs & pigs no longer

scrabble the streets to drink.

 

The Yamuna river swells

purls                                             away

                 into purple dusk

as water buffalo cross in the shallows

where          displaced         sandbanks

have changed the contour

of the river & the land.

 

In the morning margin of sky

a blush dawn        bursts on the warmth

        of swarming-insect buzz

wild boars wallow in accumulated mud

but the onslaught of floods        is feared.

 

 

 

THE ROAD TO MURCHISON

 

i

 

In Kampala, a billionaire rules

& ruins lives

a place where security guards

pace

                          over

rifles slung                      shoulders,

barbed-wire the preferred fencing,

(no janky tuk tuks here),

white-uniformed traffic police

leave                          in despair

         slink off home.

 

 

ii

We are leaving today,

in a clanky jeep

that might not get us

to where we want to be,

axle-breaking pot-holed roads of red earth

for miles                                            & miles

       mosaicked by the smile of the sun.

 

Termite mounds on verges

like enormous sand-castles

a child might spend

a whole week

                       to construct

before the sea

                 swishes it away.

 

 

Dithering guinea fowl

cross

                      & uncross roads

baby baboons swing in trees.

 

Fast to the                                          end       

of our journey

the Nile               startles through trees

we stare              past the riverine fields

to where the water glitters

                                    like nielloed silver.

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