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Introduction to the

"Big Red Book"
of song lyrics
& hypertext poetry.

by Stefan Lewis-Fish

It was between Christmas and New Year 1998, when I went to my local church, "Christ the King", in Kettering. The parish youth worker, one Matt Taylor, was speaking, along with some assembled small people. He suggested that the congregation decide upon their impending New Year's resolutions and, then, to write them down. The covenants would be ready for their re-examination one year later. This "time capsule" approach had never occurred to me before. After all, resolutions were just a bit of fun... designed to create a smile, perhaps to guide a few days' actions and then be buried as won't power gave way to weakness. Recording these doomed self-promises invited a greater commitment and a challenge to achieve. Could I tempt fate and prevent the mistakes of history from the embarrassing failure of repetition?

Physical deterioration, generated by 18 years of MS, was making my retirement, imminent. As a workaholic, this prospect filled me with trepidation. A destiny filled with endless, housebound, daytime television was unpleasant. A fortnight's rest, perhaps, but, one hundred and sixty eight hours tedium per week, every week - no way! This thought had been nagging my waking hours for months. Could Matt's challenge help?

I decided, after a few minutes thought, that my resolutions would be a) to meet retirement head on and b) to liberate my creativity. I, literally, didn't know what I meant... however, having planted the seed, the idea needed to be nurtured. This wimpy tome is the result! A collection of thoughts and poems written after the end of 1998.

The collection is largely autobiographical, having been inspired by friends, colleagues, relations and the ambience surrounding my existence. All deserve a credited mention, but, only they can say if they recognise themselves in the verbal pictures I have attempted to create.

Enjoy, become sad, be happy, learn - the choice is yours. The nature of poetry, of writing is that it involves an autonomous relationship between the words and the reader. The ultimate creation, therefore, is down to you. You are the writer now. Read on and create. I have put my part to bed. The rest of this life is for you... or, you could click on my signature below to get back to the poetry web-site's contents page!

Stefan Lewis-Fish (December 1999)