Archive | May, 2015

Poetry Map of Scotland, no 194: Advocates Close, Edinburgh

30 May

Give or Take

Step on this ride
Give me an inch,
I’ll take you for miles
Dislocated by a smile
Hold my mind
Cast off credulity and climb up into
this urban playground
Architecturally designed
Discrete unique vistas
Stop the clock times
Rush past linea and marginalised
Really red hysteria
Blank white skies edged in
Socialism and romanticism
or blue collared lies in this
Old town’s crowded equilibrium
Conforming middle grounds
Miss the cocktail party at the
Carnival of fools
Brilliantly disguised
Living subtitled lives
Move onto birth marks
and beauty spots
Part-object, part-spirit
Along close Advocates Lane’s
Faint sound of bagpipes and
Falling angels through
Silver nitrate fireworks
Panoramic surprises
Let’s document this
Squeeze out of a sunrise
From our dilated pupils
Share a tear from our eyes.

 

Julie Hogg

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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, no 193: Crail

29 May

East Neuk Storm

The wind has tormented the sea for three days:
whole trees bob in the frothy brown shallows
and gulls shelter in the harbour, cramped
and calling between useless fishing boats
like irritable children kept at home.
Late summer butterflies struggle to escape
sudden shoots of spray; they veer away,
damp and heavy, their lives almost over.
A sparrow is taken unawares – he rises
above the waves and settles up the beach,
inspecting two creels, torn from the sea bed.
There are pale fish in one, two lobsters in the other,
or rather, one inside and the other pitched out,
their enamel blue-black as a bruise.

 

Vicky Mackenzie

Previously shortlisted for the William Soutar Writing Prize 2011

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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, no 192: near Dollar

28 May

The Solsgirth Snake

The huge metal clasp that held my father’s pit bag jumble, a mesh string sack, was
A giant’s safety pin. Lilliputian, I was fascinated. Could never touch,
But stared up goggle-eyed as it lay dormant on the kitchen counter.
The orange boiler suit he wore, soot-stained, crumpled in a ball
Spoke of Work and Tired and Don’t Pester Him. I remember
The time he brought a fossil home, glossy, blue-black, with the imprint
Of scales, rough, around the outside. It was a snake chunk, squat as a sushi roll.
No other thing I had owned had held such dread and glamour: such mystery –
Ageless, reptilian coal: how I treasured it, clutched it in my hand at night
Showed it to other awed six-year-olds, then snatched it back. I have it still.
I am older now, and keep it in a drawer: it bides its time.

 

Leona Skene

Previously published in Treasures (Scottish Book Trust, 2013)

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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, no 191: Saughtree

27 May

Wolf Sky

The Tay Bridge engine wheezes
to a stop pulling six-wheeled coaches
in purple-brown. Nobody gets out
or in. On the platform snow drifts
over the Roxburgh stone
at Saughtree station.
Steam vanishes.

So does the train.
I am left with hail cutting
my face. An arctic hare bounds
across the frozen fields.
Ung-unk. Pink-footed geese, slender
as sewing needles, glide
through the sky, wolf-grey.

 

Edwin Stockdale

 

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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, no 190: Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

25 May

Ring of Brodgar

 

No nonsense.

Just stone-cold fact.

 

Immovable.

Determined.

Down-to-earth.

 

A shrine to sweat

And planning

And sheer, bloody hard work.

 

A gathering of ancestors

Feet planted firmly on the ground

 

 

Katharine Macfarlane

 

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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 no 189: Comrie/Muthill

24 May

Shillinghill

grass, flies, sun
and an abandoned Bedford van
drowning in bracken

even the bracken is drowning in bracken

pipits fly up from quad tracks
flicker and sing

a fat priestly ram stares
through the bars of a cattle feeder
into the green distance

no end to the flies and the grass
no end to the sun

 

Chris Powici

 

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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 no 188: Callander

23 May

Gullipen in Winter

It is break-heart beautiful up here.

Trees are darkened,
starkened by a white backdrop.
Puddles are stilled into
thin vulnerable crackable ice.

Clouds float, cradled in blue.
Sun strobes through whitened firs.
Houses huddle, silvered by snow
and tiny-ed into fairy-tale magic.

Winged turbines wave,
leap-dance like grounded geese.
The dog slithers, slips.
Snow spouts from his scrambling paws.

It is break-heart beautiful up here

Only footprints
show signs of others.
I use them
in a Wenceslas descent

back to greyness.

 

Jean Thewlis

 

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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 no 187: Lendalfoot

23 May

Shooglin Sheep

Shiny wet mud
flecks their blood-daubed arses:
ruddled hin-ends
o wool-heavy sheep
which
bobble as they hirple
doun the culvert,
ower stubbly grass
tae slurp
fae the gurgling
babby burn,
pasterns and muzzles
drookit,
dew claws damp
wi the
clear, cauld watter.
The hale scene
shooglin aboot
like a dishevelled hippy.

 

Brian Carlin

 

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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 no 186: Lismore

22 May

 

Belonging

From a rich soil of respect, understanding and honesty
With the freedom of the wind to be as we are
Our love is vast, like the moorlands of heather
Like the mists on the Highlands, it cannot be contained
The chains on the fisherman’s trawler
Don’t compare to the strength of our bond
When the storms of life come, as indeed they will
We won’t face these alone, but will be safe together,
Like the boats behind the old harbour walls at Anstruther,
Protected in the arms of our Creator

Belonging with another is not mere chance
It has, at its heart, God’s design
A marriage is the product of reason and choice
Like the weaver at his tweed
Selecting lasting wools
Like the shuttle and the loom
We simply work together
If our heart finds contentment
In the bustle of Auld Reekie
Or our souls are only stilled
By the tranquility on Lismore
Where we are loved and understood that is home
When you find the warmth of a hearth
In the heart of another
There you belong

 

Ruthanne Baxter

 

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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 no 185:

21 May

Lament of a Lewis Chessman

Please spare a thought for us. Our island home
is hidden from each rainbow and its cloud,
but weather-bearers thunder in a game
of chance and skill. Now, be it understood,

these clashes rarely cause alarm. We feel
a sense of isolation in this spot:
our monarchs long to join the rank and file
of elemental rulers. Here we sit

as seasons change, year after year; but note,
we will not fester in an early grave.
The time has come to dream up squares of white
and red, create a land of make-believe.

Berserkers chew their shields while headless pawns
parade as monolithic slabs of stone.
Our pensive queens appear in formal gowns,
while rabbits burrow deep inside the dune

to this forgotten citadel. Proud kings
display their might with strategy and sword.
Let war commence: we belt out battle songs,
prepare for action. Giant people guard

a second universe, where breakers lash
against our walls: we’re cut off from their realm.
Two Nordic knights on chargers start to rush
with spear in hand, then all is deathly calm.

Heroic warders take a well-earned rest:
they banish insects from their pitted skin.
Our sandbank shakes: the tide is turning fast.
Checkmate; but will we see the light again?

Caroline Gill


First published in ‘The Holy Place’ by John Dotson and Caroline Gill. The Holy Place was published by The Seventh Quarry (Swansea, 2012) in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications (New York).

 

To view our map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, and for instructions on how to submit, see http://ow.ly/J4Aja

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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