Endless Days of Freedom : Early Works of Angus MacKay, Chef, Poet, Traveler
A collection of early poems written in Manchester by Angus Mackay while he was working as a chef in the restaurants and kitchens of that metropolis and attending the Art College. During this time he traveled to Europe and America seeking adventure and new experiences which is reflected in this collection.The illustrations come from photographs, drawings and paintings with family connections chosen by the editor. The first section is inspired by nature: Water, Fire, Summer, Spring, Earth, Air, An Ancient Waterfall, and Winter, a series of astonishing descriptions inquiring minds will devour. "Life" is like a striking thought about an awakening city. The Lion and Elephant was his childhood home in Scotland, a gate lodge at the entrance to Arniston Estate and had a lasting impact on this young man, inspiring some vivid lines: a yearning for home yet drawn to far off places. Cities Across the World will be familiar to those who travel, a feeling of too many borders to comprehend: "Out on the road again, another city, another border line.." And missing someone, maybe home: "I see your face in cities across the world." Skimming Stones Toward the Sun is nostalgic with a hint of the mystical, thought provoking as if there were a hidden message: "the light of a new century's dawn, Reveals our footprints in the sand.." Toy Town is more down to earth and amusing like a childhood song inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses." A grim tone sets in with, The City Takes Care of its Own," a reminder of life in any major city but with a touch of hope: "It's a perfect night, And one to remember, On these rooftops tonight." The Mall is a mystery of a disappearance, of a life that could have been but never explained: "Whatever it was, great legends thus appeared." The theme of travel is evoked again in Palm Trees at Sunset based on California scenery: "We move ever on." On a visit to the WW1 cemeteries of northern France where his great grandfather is buried Angus was inspired to write Over the Top in which you almost smell the gas, hear the shells, it's so realistic. Another nightmarish theme is found in Mean Streets, which gives the reader a hint of life in San Francisco after the restaurants have closed for the night but offers an optimistic thought: "An angel must be with me on these mean streets tonight.." Distant Fog is a love song to a stranger. I Saw the Devil is illustrated by a collage of natural objects like bleached bones and leaves constructed by his uncle, Alasdair Anderson who lived near Angus' childhood home. The same artist was used for Gates of Dusk, a drawing this time. "Missed," is a poem of lost love, very moving and rather sad: "Now you are gone, leaving behind, So many memories, broken hearts.." Night time scenes are everywhere in this collection as in Ghost Stars. Nostalgia and loss in Rainbow is another recurring theme that is illustrated by an abstract print from his days as an art student in Manchester.Questions abound in The Secret Garden but no answers only a mystical sadness. Finally the lodge house from childhood is the setting for a descriptive piece that is full of joy: Endless Days of Freedom. Nature, memories of a time gone by, and that feeling of peace when finally we return home after a journey is captured perfectly here: "Just as we close the door, We listen and we hear, The sound of the last train.."
- Paperback | 46 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.54mm | 108.86g
- 09 Jun 2015
- United States
- colour illustrations
About Angus Robbie MacKay
Angus Robbie Mackay was born on the 26th September 1967 in Edinburgh, Scotland then moved with his family to Midlothian when two years old. The following seven years of his early childhood were spent in the rural setting of Arniston estate surrounded by open fields and tree lined country lanes. It was not until 1989 that he seriously made an effort to educate himself by studying graphic design in Manchester whilst working in the restaurants and kitchens of that great metropolis and subsequently taking a course in culinary arts. During these productive years he was also travelling in California, Australia, France, and Italy during the summer breaks, learning French and Italian in his spare time and keeping a journal, containing poetry and descriptions of the life of a chef. His first experience with taste and fresh ingredients in cooking was when he was seven years old whilst visiting his Nana in Temple village and she gave him a pea from a pod grown in her herb garden followed by a mint leaf. In that moment he remembers, as if it were yesterday, the intense sensation that comes from fresh ingredients. He spent 14 years in Manchester before emigrating to California to continue his culinary career, to write his poems and journals.His first published work was Endless Days of Freedom which appeared in an anthology called Twilight Musings published by the International Library of Poetry in 2005, who also published Timeless Voices the following year, another anthology which included his, A new Time of Brilliance. After five years in the Bay Area of San Francisco, cooking, writing, and travelling Angus died at the age of forty after a suffering a brain hemorrhage.The posthumously published collection of poems My little Black Book, published by Amazon, came out in 2013: a collection of poetry written in California and New York.