Night in Buganda



I stand by the window in Namilyango and stare out across the tops of the trees.

Beams of orange light from invisible fires shoot up here and there into the sky like truncated searchlights.

Bursts of drumbeats link village to village like threaded beads.

My fingernails drum on the refrigerator door.

I ask the brothers on the campus what it’s all about.

Nobody seems to know.

A motorbike with a girl on the back goes past below.



About the Poet

gurneyBorn in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, Robert Gurney lectured in Spanish at Middlesex University. Honorary Lecturer, University of Swansea, 2002-2010. Influenced by Dylan Thomas. Interviews Juan Larrea (‘the father of Spanish Surrealism’, V. Bodini) in Argentina. Interviewed Dalí. Has published poetry in the magazines Third Wednesday, Fire, Raymond Carver Review, Acumen, Sarasvati, El camarote. Poetry prize: theme: Rimbaud, Concurso de Poesía Libre de Artesanías Literarias, 2007. Juan Laurentino Ortiz prize for best book in Spanish as a Second Language, Paraná, Argentina, 2010. Filmed in 2014  for series on contemporary poets (Spain). The Poetry of Robert Gurney belongs to the best English tradition, with its verbal clarity and skilled handling of colloquial language. Nonetheless one notes the outpouring of a poetics of intensity, peculiar to the best Latin American poetry. Tradition and modernity intermingle to harmonious effect in this volume of poetry.  The Dark Room is a successful book, where, in these times of globalisation of culture and waning national frontiers, we recognise an author who, though English, astonishes us with his striking syncretic fusion of English and Latin American poetic traditions.