Archive | July, 2014

Poetry Map Poem 17: Ben Donich

31 Jul

Ben Donich

 

Each climb to the high places brings

a question: will I come again?

The wind blows, the crow swoops by

on silent wings, upcurved and still

on the flying air, and I no longer

earthbound feel the soaring

and wonder when the flight will end.

The spacious air mocks this

introspection, calls me to

the briefly precious moment

on this thin-earthed crag

where the rock glints hard in the

noonday sun and the fool’s gold

shines at my fingertips

and the downward path curves

into the purple afternoon.

 

Christine McIntosh

Another mountain to climb ….  To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see  https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 
All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

 

Poetry Map Poem 15: Stromness again

29 Jul

Warbeth Walk

The air is thick
and quickens your breath
foam rushes like blood.

What’s death?
Tombstones, planted bookmarks.

Salt rubs the wounds
of letters.

Your feet push back the earth
legs spring like flight.

Oystercatchers pose on granite
blue light washes the fields.

So live for the fear of drowning in seascape
the end of words –
the black-and-white forking of tongues.

To speak like the raven
or sing like the curlew
feasting on what the shore offers.

To plunder deep into liminal space
for fish-meat and sustenance.

What’s grace?
A lapwing song in a dark field

An empty stomach
filled with the smell of seaweed
and cattle

The curve in the road
where you listen for starlings…

You climb the last hill
walking backwards
to face the sea.

Then the wind whips you round
to the orange-glow windows of home.

Nalini Paul

 

Another visit to Stromness with Nalini Paul. To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Poetry Map Poem 14: Pabbay, Sound of Harris

28 Jul

After the Shearing, Pabbay

The last kettle of the day,
not hurried exactly
but with an eye to the tide.

Nobody is saying much.
It’s been a long haul
wrestling with Cheviots in the sun
and these are men
who let words ripen inside
before offering them up.

Looks like Aonghas Ailig
is rolling a cigarette, not easy
with the tremor in his shearing hand.
And there’s Coinneach Iain Sheonaidh,
lean and true as his own shepherd’s crook,
watching the sheep stream away
from the fank
past the ancient burial stones
of Teampull Mhoire.

Any minute now,
my father will empty his cup
with a flick of the wrist,
throw a crust to the dogs, a sign
to start moving
down to the boat.

Time to give the island back
to its sheep and its deer,
to the fretting seabirds;
time to let shadows slide back
into their own spaces.

 

Maggie Rabatski

 

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission

Poetry Map Poem 13: Clydebank

27 Jul

Singer Factory

When four faces of the giant Singer clock,
with minute hands the size of two tall men,
crowned Kilbowie Hill
and women reeked of machine oil,
the factory warmed the Forth and Clyde canal
so steam rose from the water.

The story goes that a pet shop owner
poured his fancies into the Nollie.
Purple shubunkins, gold ranchus,
lavender telescope eyes,
red caporandas, orange lionheads
thrived in the warm waterway.

Boys, bored with squiggles of silver minnows,
came with nets and jam jars.
One caught a two pound goldfish
behind Garscadden police station
and kept it in the bath for weeks
until the family needed a wash.

Busloads came for a day out
to feed the fish on mouldy bread.
Rag-and-bone men hitched their horses
to the railings and left
with wee goldies in plastic bags
to trade for old clothes and threadbare linen.

When Singer closed, the canal froze.
Bankies scattered like a shoal of perch
escaping from a supermarket trolley.
Beyond landscaping and swans,
the flash of red Clydeside persists.
They are still here, swimming under the ice.

 

Eveline Pye

 

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission

Deadline today to enter StAnza’s 2014 online slam

27 Jul

Today is the deadline to enter this year’s online slam. Entries must reach us by midnight today our time.

Full details at https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/slam-with-stanza-online/ but in summary, we’re looking for recordings which are no more than 3 years old and no longer than 4 minutes. Send them to info@stanzapoetry.org and we’ll post a shortlist of the best and invite the whole world to vote on their favourite. We’re counting down now to the deadline ….

Poetry Map Poem 12: Tanera Mor in the Summer Isles

26 Jul

Touch Stone

He walks slowly
on a well-worn path
listening for the blackbird
and brushing past bracken
feels the warmth
of familiar stone
finds the sweet heat
of brambles hiding by the wall.
He picks clover and chews on summer,
kneels to search for sorrel
explodes its sweet acid
in his mouth.
Hears the music of
honey collectors,
gathers a bitter taste of mint.

 

Lesley May Miller

 

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 

All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Enter StAnza’s 2014 Digital Slam now!

25 Jul

Just two days left to enter this year’s Digital Slam. The deadline for emailing us links to your online video or audio clips is midnight Sunday our time. Don’t miss it! Full details at https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/slam-with-stanza-online/ but in summary, we’re looking for recordings which are no more than 3 years old and no longer than 4 minutes. Send them to info@stanzapoetry.org and we’ll post a shortlist of the best and invite the whole world to vote on their favourite. What are you waiting for?

Poetry Map Poem 11: Glasgow – well, of course …

25 Jul

A Glasgow Story

Encouraged by escalating disposable incomes,
the rich rushed West to Gilmore Hill and Kelvingrove
looking for a more fantoosh kind of culture.

Escaping from the reek of poverty and filth,
they left behind the Trongate and Cathedral,
in the hope of making something of themselves.

Today Glaswegians breathe fresher air,
where the notion of class has been abolished
by the possibility of appearing to have it all.

The modern way for accredited congregations,
now that bankers do God’s work,
is the performance of ritual worship
at Silverburn, Braehead and Princes Square.

Communing in multi-culinary food halls,
hemmed in by designer-labelled bags,
we drink our fair trade coffee and forget,
we’re not all Thatcher’s bastards,
we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns.

 

Irene Hossack

(North Light, The Anthology of Clydebuilt 3, July 2012)

 
To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/. For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see  https://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

 
All poems on our poetry map of Scotland and on the StAnza Blog are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet’s permission.

Celebrating Seamus Heaney on his ‘Home Ground’

24 Jul

South-Derry-Bogland-940x400Those who recall the visits by the late Seamus Heaney to StAnza will remember how passionate he was about the connections between poetry and place, and our current project to Map Scotland with Poems is in sympathy with this. It’s also fitting that a festival devoted to Heaney is to be held among his own ‘home ground’, the landscapes he evoked in his poetry.

Celebrating Seamus Heaney On Home Ground 2014, will run from 11-14 September at Laurel Villa Guesthouse in Magherafelt (just 3 miles from Mossbawn where Heaney was born) and will celebrate his life, work and legacy of the poet through poetry, music and art.

It follows on from last year’s inaugural festival, which was named by Heaney himself before his untimely death last September. As a result the festival became a tribute to him.

Organised by Laurel Villa’s husband and wife team, Eugene and Gerardine Kielt, in partnership with the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry and curated by BBC arts broadcaster Marie-Louise Muir, this year’s festival will feature readings from some of Ireland’s finest writers and poets, children’s workshops, a poetry picnic, coach tours of ‘Heaney country’ and a rare re-showing of films made by the BBC which Heaney presented.

The full programme will be revealed by the Verbal Arts Centre tomorrow, on 25 July, but some events have already been confirmed: In Conversations with special guests – including Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody who will read Heaney poetry and perform songs, one of which he has dedicated to the late poet – and artist Colin Davidson, who painted Heaney’s last portrait, will be In Conversation with the writer Glenn Patterson. There will also be a session of music and readings with musicians Neil Martin and Rod McVey and actor Bríd Brennan.

The main venue, Laurel Villa Guesthouse, has long been a centre of poetry and outside the festival runs regular readings by well-known poets and tours of local ‘poetry places’.

More details are available online at http://theverbal.co/blog/story/2014/celebrating-seamus-heaney-on-home-ground-2014 and http://laurel-villa.com/.

 

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