‘Vigilant Watchers’ is a collection of poems by Western Australian poet Peter Knight that seek to address aspects of human existence and even the cosmos. Sometimes that is even done through non-human entities such as a bullet, an insect or a rocking chair. The poet’s underlying intention is not so much to explain but to explore. To facilitate the reader exploring in whatever way her/his mind or emotions may be prompted to go.
Thus, ‘Vigilant Watchers’ touches on many subjects. It acknowledges the life and accomplishments of Beatles’ musician John Lennon and of comedian and musician Dudley Moore. It revisits the William Tell legend, Shakespeare’s Ophelia from ‘Hamlet’, Beach Boys’ musician Brian Wilson and the experience of two scuba divers, each of whom seem destined not to resurface [‘in deep’ and ‘the art of a diver’]. Even God is the subject of scrutiny [‘meet your Maker’].
Largely, ‘Vigilant Watchers’ addresses the experience of so-called ‘ordinary people’. For example, an egocentric but insecure contemporary young woman [‘Assurance’], an anxious late middle-aged man [‘Rehearsal’] and someone expressing self-doubt [‘not much, as such’]. Some other poems address human concerns in a more abstract way, such as in ‘economy of need’, ‘the unknown monument’, ‘the time it takes a traveller’, and ‘circular’.
Even though addressing what may be considered ‘philosophical’ concerns, a lighter touch, somewhat tongue in cheek or mildly satirical, is sometimes applied, as in, for instance: ‘flight of the better-fly’, ‘Bite’, ‘the dancers’, ‘great representations’, and ‘oh, what a difference’.
In all, 31 well-crafted, thoughtful and accessible poems offer a broad sampling of, and approach to, subject matter likely to be of interest and enjoyment to many readers who appreciate modern poetry.