Stepping Stones, as its title suggests, leads the reader on a haphazard and unpredictable route across a landscape of different topics and themes and emotions through its 60 poems. A quarter of these, which emerged from the first lockdown in 2020, reflect the impact of that time – a personal response exploring a personal emotional turmoil but which will have a generic, universal resonance. The poems appear in alphabetical order, each one a stepping stone to the next, not taking any logical direction or following any defined route – except to take you to the final poem, which leaves the pathway of those stepping stones open to follow another journey, perhaps, or to retrace those steps and ponder ... The title poem, which appears towards the end of the collection, provides something of an explanation for that order as well as offering a wider perspective. This is an inspirational and assured collection of poems which can be followed via those ‘stepping stones’ in a single read or trodden at random, letting pages open where they will, and offering whichever one of the stepping stones appears. It is a book of poems to be picked up again and again, for comfort, for escape, for finding something familiar in an unfamiliar world.