These finely wrought poems take us from Tuscan hills and piazzas to the banks of the Weser and Pegnitz, down the dark streets of Gottingen and among the honey coloured stones of Oxford. We step easily into the writer's mindset, to enjoy what he calls the 'plankton of experience' and relish the bright lights and sinister shadows of his Gefuhlsreise. Francis Michaels' sense of place is matched by an easy sensuality of expression particularly in 'Arabic Script' and 'The Cat'. While the broad issues of man's purpose, the exchange of affections and the persistence of memory run like threads throughout the collection, the energy, beauty and hum of life and nature, so clearly loved by the poet, remind us that a world enjoyed deserves to be captured in verse. Francis Michaels comes from Essex but has lived most of his life in mainland Europe. From banking, military, school and university careers he has moved into language, communications, intercultural and finally personal coaching activities and shares the running of his own company in the Hamburg area. Writing in English and German on all aspects of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication both in prose and poetry is a major drive in his search: the music of the spheres - the harmony behind the cacophony.