Archive | December, 2014

Poetry map of Scotland poem no. 125: Monreith Beach

21 Dec

Evening on Monreith Beach

Oystercatchers in evening dress
dance with their reflections
on mirrored sand.

Necklets of foam decorate
the beach, tossed into
glistening, amoeba shapes.

The wrinkled sand folds
itself around the boulders,
drapes the headland.

Fishermen stand motionless,
half submerged,
living Gormley figures.

I walk on, remembering
other evenings, shared.

 

Anne Dunford

This poem was previously published in Southlight magazine.

 

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 of Scotland poem no. 124: Stonehaven

20 Dec

Brass on Benches, Stonehaven

Nothing can quite surpass a brass nameplate on a council bench –
Not even the grandiosity of a statue’s public show;
Though kings and generals tower above us, colonise parks and squares,
Their stridency has nothing on understated intimacy.

See here beside this harbour wall
Where two brass plaques repeat the words “In loving memory”,
Nothing holy, nothing austere, nothing more than names and dates,
Beyond those words their lives are blank – for perpetuity

But here as well where Jimmy Morrison’s final gesture
Was a ghost-written script at 70 years
And Ellen Rollinson left no clues about herself
Before she was embossed at 73

We pause where they once paused to hear
The clinking of the boats moored up along the harbour wall
Or watch the tourists pass, or cool their feet at the waterside:
They leave in this a posthumous token of hospitality

And something else in these nameplates far more than the words describe –
The hope that there’s fraternity in obscure and disparate lives,
They seek no adulation, fame or place in history
But hint at lifetimes spent in worlds as miniature as our own;

They are like us more than we guess
Though we may pass with scarce a glance,
Without a thought how gracious is
A wee nameplate on a square of brass.

Neil Young

 

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.

T S Eliot Prize Readings

18 Dec

The T S Eliot Prize Readings are coming up soon, and there are some names very familiar to StAnza included in this year’s line up.

The Readings will take place at 7pm on Sunday 11 January 2015 in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, the largest annual poetry event in the UK.

The event will be compered by Ian McMillan and prefaced by Helen Dunmore, Chair of the judges. This year’s shortlisted works are:

Fiona Benson    Bright Travellers
John Burnside    All One Breath
Louise Glück    Faithful and Virtuous Night (read by Michael Schmidt)
David Harsent    Fire Songs
Michael Longley    The Stairwell
Ruth Padel    Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth
Pascale Petit    Fauverie
Kevin Powers    Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting (read by Caleb Klaces)
Arundhathi Subramaniam    When God is a Traveller
Hugo Williams    I Knew the Bride

Tickets are now on sale from Southbank Centre’s ticket office on 0844 847 9910 or via http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/literature

Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 123: Flotterstone

15 Dec

Flotterstone

Moonlight decadence of a midnight wander
Far from street lights and the sound of cars
Almost floating with joy strolling under the stars

No demanding pleas
To buy unnecessary things from adverts on TV
Away from every single mind grating sound
Another truly peaceful place I have found

Dewdrops glisten like diamonds
In the morning sun
Precious prisms of unequalled beauty
far more useful than any solid one

Tears of sadness and tears of joy
Both have been wept here
This sanctuary from the hoi polloi

Solitude and loneliness
I know the difference now
You’re only ever as alone
As you allow

 

Nicole Carter

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 of Scotland poem no. 122: Sarclet

14 Dec

Northern Sky

Grey reflecting grey
ink black horizon divides
pages of sea and sky
where gulls write flight paths
a creel boat underlines
with a straight course to port.

Ian Giles

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 of Scotland poem no. 121: Bannockburn

13 Dec

Our Stakeholders are Tomorrow’s Shareholders

Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome to
the Bannockburn memorial car park.
Here is a guidebook; enjoy your stay

So you’d like to know your history?
Shuffle through with care on tar macadam
laid over what could be the bones of late scholars.

Where you’re stood, John Stuart Mill could tut at our facilities
if Bronze Age arrow heads could nod
would they endorse
the battleground of Dun Nechtan,
Scotland’s biggest fecht afore the pound, as being in the north
and not the east as my local tourist board
would have me believe:
our stakeholders, they say
our shareholders.

To those of you who say there’s not much here
for all you know that spot may have been
where old Bill Wallace played Archie Gemmill in
to sink the oranje at Scapa Flow, on aggregate.

Where, just like that
Davie Cooper stole the stone of Scone
— consult your guide for local variations —
and lobbed it across the Irish Sea
shouting at Finn MacCool:
“you are my brother; I fuckin hate you.”

Where kelpies 20 metres tall
lark on the churned waves of brown pasture
and dreadnoughts ply their trade under the banner Fisher Tours
— have you seen our Hadrian towel sets —
our stakeholders, they say
our shareholders.

Some divots in the sainted earth later
and a falconry display for some reason wedged
between Viking re-enactors and a talk about horse furniture,
you will file through shelves and shelves of iron pyrites
hawked at the guest shop
and then go back to homes
along the M80, the M6 and the A1 in fear-filled carriages
smelling faintly of disinfectant
more confused than before.

Richard Watt

This poet was written for Steve Fowler’s Auld Enemies tour, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJizJchW6F4

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 of Scotland poem no. 120: Cairnholy, near Carsluith

12 Dec

Screenshot 2014-12-07 09.58.28

Carolyn Yates

From Crichton Writers’ anthology ‘Joined up writing’ 2005

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.

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