I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with poet, writer, artist, business owner, Pete Carter. As usual, the coaching work was in part around changes and choices. So many choices, so many things that could be created, developed, bought, sold, experienced.
Pete is an extraordinarily talented, smart and creative person. He has a strength that is compassionate and laser sharp, to the point thinking. I loved working with him
While we worked together he was doing a lot of creative writing. Stories, blogs and poetry. This review is about one of his books called “Buddy’s Brother” It could be called a book of poetry, but it is more than that. As Pete says himself says “I don’t like poems I can’t understand, and you wont find any riddles in mine”
It is a book of short poems, well, musings, like this one;
Walking along Chancery Lane,
a pigeon fell, dead, right in front of me.
Was it the same one that a week before
had crapped in my al fresco coffee?
Through to longer stories of his gruelling walk along the South West Coast of Britain. Sprinkled through his stories are snippets of how he met his wife, snatches of conversations that one has while sitting in a doctors waiting room. What I love about this is that what he has written feels very complete to me and at the same time I want more. I find myself thinking and wondering about this wonderful woman he married, what does she look like? what does she do? What else does this man notice as he travels through life that perhaps many of us just don’t notice?
It is the kind of book that is perfect when waiting at the airport, on a train, on a lazy Sunday afternoon or in the middle of a frantically busy day. My copy of the book is so dog eared now as it goes on all my hiking trips. It is light enough to add to my 12kg back pack and at night in the back country huts read it with my head lamp on.
As many reviews have said, it is straight up, open hearted and in your face. The stories and poems make me laugh, and they make me curious, they make me a bit teary too.
As Anna Forsyth says in her review:
There are shades of Barry Crump humour in this work, the kind of everyman writing style that spurns figurative language, or ‘riddles’ as Pete puts it, in favour of the matter of fact. Here is someone who calls a spade a spade. It’s a refreshing read, an amble through memoir and personal reflections, from a writer who loves his family and his pets. He may not like poems he doesn’t understand, but what he does know is the value of a sense of humour and the occasional jaunt (or cycle) to blow away the cobwebs and get things in perspective.
The centrepiece of the book is Pete’s reflective memoir of ticking off an important item on his bucket list, walking the South West Coast Path in the UK (over 1000 kilometres). It is a pilgrimage of sorts, in the footsteps of his father, who had a personal connection to the historic path. The photo reveals a quintessential lake district vista of stone walls and green, rolling hills. It wasn’t all a walk in the park however, to coin a phrase:
Some days were glorious, cliff-top walking at its finest, some days
were miserable, stuck between a barbed-wire fence and a hawthorn
hedge, unable to see the sea or the slippery path through brambles
and nettles and sweat.
You can read her full review here:
You need to have this book in your library. It fits any mood. It will make you smile. It might cause you to reflect. Who knows, it might even help you with your own Hard Choices.
You can buy his book at Makaro Press. Also at Unity and (some) good bookshops.
Find out more about Pete here.
And listen to this interview on National Radio.