In Ranging Around the Zero, Terry Locke acknowledges the fragility of those ‘momentary stays against confusion’ (‘Frost’) we erect with words and other symbols. ‘Ranging’ is a metaphor for a relentless urge for order in the face of dissolution and discursive vacuity. While these stays are provisional, they are deemed worthy of celebration as part of the process of ‘locating the basics / through a process of elision’ (‘Walking the Heaphy Track’). The ‘Zero’ is the crone — the dark end that always overshadows our means and yet makes them shine.
The poems in Ranging Around the Zero often follow a line on a map as they do a line of thought. Rather than sit back complacently, the poems embody a notion of progress, shuffling towards enlightenment or clarity, ranging widely through the physical world yet returning, intermittently, to the harsh political and social realities that surround them. With honesty, urgency and tenderness, these poems dance their ‘deliberate dance’. — Jenny Bornholdt