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OLD DOGS AND NO TRICKS  Forty plus haiku  Anarchios Press Limited Edition 100 signed copies £5

A slim poetry pamphlet can sometimes pack more of a punch than any breeze-block collected works. Alex Lykiard's pamphlet Old Dogs And No Tricks (Anarchios Press, £5) only consists of 40 new haikus but he crams ideas and ques­tions into the 17 syllables of his chosen form.

Some are classical: "First love — that dancer/whose beauty often turned heads—did I deserve her? " and some are longer sequences, notably a fine elegy for the poet Vernon Scannell: "Work that should stand,/surviving a long lifetime, beyond the bullshit/stuff our careerists/currently promote: damn it/Vernon, you're missed!"

Lykiard writes about the pleasures of old age: "My gut groans and growls —/the evening cycle of pills/brings my lover's scowls," mortality—"Odd time, growing old.../Energies low. Tak­ing stock./Musing on The End" and a visit to the Brechthaus in Berlin: "Courtyard and rooms still/exude echoes, cigar smoke,/arguments for Art."

Clever stuff.

[Andy Croft] - Morning Star - March 28 2013

A natural follow-on from Juvenal, a new book of short poems from the sometime acidic poet Alexis Lykiard. Old Dogs And No Tricks demonstrates that this particular old dog still has plenty of tricks in his repertoire… Many of the poems are downright funny, and a few are truthful and touching… whilst also being funny… I enjoyed these poems very much, and they cheered me up. What more can you ask for? 

Kevin Bailey, HQ Poetry Magazine/Haiku Quarterly, no. 42.

"I hugely enjoyed your previous set of haikus - and I've started already your new one, with equal enjoyment. Very clever and witty."

[Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson, author, publisher, literary agent ]