Poet and Sunday Times Bestselling Author
Hailing from a British Pakistani background in East London, venturing out and exploring the great outdoors and Mother Nature wasn’t something that was truly encouraged; in school for a few hours a week it was, but it wasn’t anything more than that.
Now I’m not sure if that’s a cultural thing or something to do with living within an inner city. But what I do know is that my grandparents came to the United Kingdom from Kashmir, Mirpur. And with many recent trips to Pakistan, the mountainous grounds of the space forever inspire me to reconnect with the powers and beauty of the outdoors. However this inspiration quickly fades, as I walk the concrete cobbled paths of London town.
Recently, I was exceptionally fortunate to come across the great soul of the Poet, Writer, Explorer and Artist Olly Williams, and having sat with him on a bench outdoors it truly was a love at first write moment. Two men, meeting at a garden party, pouring their hearts out on their love of poetry, art, the planet, humanity and everything else in between.
Reading his poetry as it effortlessly fell down the page, instantly encapsulated a part of me that needed to be touched. I looked up at him and said nothing, as nothing needed to be said. After a short silence I thanked him for showing me and asked if there was more. And more there was.
Not only did his words make me think, they made me feel. I began feeling the essence of what I have been voluntarily depriving myself of: the beauty, the elegance and the wonderment of Mother Nature and her species. A piece from Olly’s collection entitled Green Hills has a line within it that sticks with me: ‘And in so doing you, to Me, become sacred.’
Olly, your work has inspired me to get out, to move, to sit, to feel, to be at one with nature, and in doing so, God willing, become at one with myself. Thank you my friend.
The mental health of the world is in much need of human artistic connection now more than ever. The combination of lyricism, heart, art, compassion and passion within Olly’s work tells me one thing: within the pages of Draw Of The Wild, there is love amongst the chaos after all.Hussain Manawer