"Natural Mechanical" is a 'biographical sketch' in poem form about the early life of Iain Seoras Rockliffe, a man known to the poet for many years. The young Rocky has no truck with school, finding reading and writing almost impossible. He is in his element wandering the Isle of Skye, observing and exploiting its plants and animals. The 'natural' is complemented by the 'mechanical' and Morgan describes with humour and respect Rocky's aptitude with machines as he brings dead cars and lawnmowers back to life and builds a bike from scratch ('the finished article resembles nothing / that has ever been before nor ever after').
When we first meet Rocky he is "Squat body. Crew-cut. Short trousers. Green vest. / Little fists clenched into little pink rocks." As Morgan describes episodes from his childhood he cleverly weaves in the voices of those who knew him and glimpses of the adult he will become. All in all this is a great poem which immerses you in another time, another world, and another life. I am looking forward to reading Morgan's Long Cuts
, which is subtitled 'further wanderings in the life of Iain Seoras Rockliffe.