Archive | October, 2015

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 234: Strathcanaird

31 Oct

Planting Potatoes during Chernobyl

The seed went in two days
before the clouds of Chernobyl
Shiva-danced over the Strath.
We joked about tubers
glowing in the dark.
It rained for six weeks.

The leaves grew to lovely sheen.
Tiny flowers lured bees and butterflies.
Roots swelled Edzell Blues, skins of livid heather.
Kerr’s Pinks, soft carnation hue, marble-fleshed.

All perfect, as new potatoes.
Leave them for maincrop?
Eat and run? Dig before
the roots turn to slush, cells run riot?

Let them grow.
Death and potatoes
go a long way back in my family.
Our old Irish men in North America
would not risk potatoes again.
They planted maize
because the sun could cure what the soil could not.

In that newer world, death was above ground,
in the clear living light.

 

Tom Bryan

 

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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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 233: Mull

31 Oct

Kilninian

Some look east
for mystic inspiration,
why must I stand
enthralled
on a western shore
gazing at the Atlantic?

I come from the west,
from the sea.
When coracle and pilgrim
nudged the limpet-blistered rocks
I was there,
my long hair wet,
I twisted my hands
around a cross.

I knew the water then,
the foam lapped at my mouth.
I stood first on the west shore
waiting for others.
I waited so long,
while the east came west,
looking for me.

Lis Lee

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, poem no. 232: Easdale

30 Oct

Unearthing Easdale

Men toiled to keep rain out.
Black slate split from unyielding ground.
Working for fools in the promise of gold,
to keep their own safe from Atlantic cold.

Left toothless,
Your slate is clean.
Now silenced by the sound
Of a Duchess and Countess *
Marking time.
Waiting by a hearth-stone
For their history to unfold.

 

Hazel Buchan Cameron

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.

A World Without Censorship

29 Oct

Libertad de LetrasINGLES

Today we are sending greetings from St Andrews to the World Without Censorship organisation in Caracas, Venezuela. We are delighted to announce that the winner of their current poetry competition “Letras de Libertad” will be invited to attend our next StAnza festival in March 2016 and I hope they enjoy their visit to Scotland.  Meantime, we have invited the people behind “Letras de Libertad” to introduce themselves to us and are very pleased to include this guest blog post from Caracus.

 

Poetry and solidarity merge into the contest of “Letras de Libertad”
Caracas, Venezuela. October 28, 2015

“Poetry is art and art itself, is freedom.” This is the premise on which the non-profit organization “A World Without Censorship” is launching the second edition of the poetry contest called “Letras de Libertad” therefore, breaking the boundaries this year by including the participation of Latin American countries and Spain.

Continuing its tradition of promoting the defense of human rights through art and culture, the organization “A World Without Censorship” partners with the School of Arts of the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB,Venezuela), the library “Lugar Común” (Venezuela), the non-profit organization Fundación Sala Mendoza (Venezuela), the creative signature Ortega Brothers (Venezuela), the Foundation “Adopta un Libro” (Venezuela), The organization “El Laboratorio de Ideas” based in Barcelona (Spain) and finally the prestigious StANZA organization based in Scotland to deliver this important contest to the public.

The contest starts from October 10th until December 1rst of 2015. It gives the opportunity to writers, poets and senior citizens promote solidarity in the absence of freedom through the sublime language of poetry.

To register and participate in our contest you must write a poem about the value of freedom and also a dedication to the victims of human rights violation. This poem should portray either a real or imaginary situation or a historical context anywhere in the world. Please send the poetry to the following email poesía@sinmordaza.org. The organization is proud to inform that a prestigious international jury will evaluate all participants’ poetry

Finally, A World without Censorship is delighted to announce that the first prize winner will attend StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, in 2016. This will become a unique experience and will certainly add value to the knowledge and culture of the first prize winner.  AWorldwithoutCensorshipLogo2

 

 

For more information about the contest visit their social media accounts:
Facebook: A World Without Censorship
Twitter: @sinmordaza
Instagram: @sinmordaza

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 231: Fochabers

26 Oct

Restoration ‘A’ Listed 2009
(Gordon Chapel, Fochabers)

Today they climbed the scaffold, and even angels
are losing sleep at my beauty made naked, my
Burne Jones eyes removed. Stripped of dignity, my stones

pitted and pocked, my patched roof sagging with lost slates,
nail sickness. I am shrouded in canvas, waiting –

one hundred and seventy five years of grace since
master masons tools worked. Wearied by pollution

my soft harled coat of sand and lime broken, crumbled
to the ingress and egress of age on mortar.

For the first time today they climbed the scaffold but
it held no fears. I am restored this way – when I
shall brag of my glory again and shine on thee.

 

Eilidh Thomas

First published in the group magazine TRED6 (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, poem no. 230: Polochar Inn Beach, South Uist

25 Oct

Rain

There is a song at the waters edge
There are pebbles on vacant sands
There are swirls
Where the water heads towards the sea
There are people, why wouldn’t there be

The beauty of this beach idyll
Is then all but beaten out of me
By Kate’s insistence
That we carry on walking in the rain
Towards a small dwelling
With four windows and a door

I go along with the daftness for a while
But finally insist on returning to the hotel
Kate takes shelter
She walks to my left side away from the slanting rain
My right side becomes soddened

At the cross roads we turn right
Now we walk directly into the wind, and rain
Kate takes shelter
She walks just short of a rainfalls depth behind me
My front becomes entirely soddened

A calm emerges, clear light ahead
There are songs in my heart
There are stones for my feet to kick
There are puddles for children to skip and splash in
There are people, and why wouldn’t there be

 

Christopher Sanderson

 

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, poem no. 229: Machrihanish

25 Oct

Split Ends

 

Cattle grid

Gravel elipsis gazing

Stags

Hand on shoulder

 

The end of the road is

flexible

 

 

Andrew Blair

 

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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