Poems of Scotland, Exile, and Everything Else

A variant miscellany, home and abroad

Cherry

Balmerino Abbey Day

Around the river, walking the water lanes from where the car was left (better to tread lightly down to the remains of the monastery). All that...
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Dalriada

Outcrop of skull on the thin headland, the seas pulsed with song, communication that was a scar, overstretched. Rough hide of the coracle containing...
Cherry

Intentionally Blank

This page is intentionally blank, snowfield before the fact of the scrawl spoiling the white barren flatness. No wishes are listed here, nor...

Joe Goes (A Scottish Scat Reminiscence)

Jumping Joe Jehosophat, full throttle in the Railway Tav (nineteen ninety three). Go in there for ten years, six hours a day, you’d see him squat,...

Moving

Moving house. Nod to the skeletons in the shrubbery (only buried guinea pigs holding long gone paws). This relocation coincides, more or less, with a...
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On Having Been Found

It was open season on me, thank God, plucked from the non-purple patch where I had been lurking (in plain sight). How wonderful to be uplifted from...

Over Frae Angus

Over frae Angus and intae the Mearns, check in the howe whar the gulls sing like bairns. Over the Tay and on into Fife, the haunts o the hunted, the...

Over The Shoulder

Struggle with the beast, but don’t believe you’ll win. In this swirling phase that carries down dregs to a drowning pool, tooth and claw cannot...

Ridge

Along this elevation muscles turn to water and thoughts refuse to muster. This escarpment is where magnetic rock makes compases fail the north. One...
Cherry

Single track Heaven

Going north in single track heaven, a black line through the Highland Line, was what we did each summer. Dad banged the horn to blow away the crows...

The Furnace Room

In the furnace room of her heart, I expected the tintinabulation of chimes climbing to an airy tower. Instead there was a manic anvil hammered...

The Last Day I Loved You

Put the papers away and black bags out, like any other Tuesday. Rose late and adjusted my gait downstairs to the fact there was no shadow near and no...

Walking Backward Out of the Sea

While you were walking backwards from the sea, I had reached the estuary. When you unwound the seaweed ropes and returned to all your mortal hopes, I...
Cherry

The Paper Trails (For JC)

I imagine you, still, somewhere, mind deep in newsprint. A whole day we sometimes sat, you and I, reading the latest from the dailies, swapping...
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Bring A Brick To Work

Bring a brick to work today, bring a blueprint, bring a prayer. Bring some peas in – but never marrowfat, no fear. Bring a tunnel and a blimp; bring...
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Cherry

General Tom Thumb Visits the Dundee Lunatic Asylum

Those with diminished senses look at the man with restricted height, standing there in full Highland garb. He did the latest skit from his sell out...
Cherry

The Unwritten Notebook

The open pages are an invite to write, or are they? Some hesitate, beware the bear trap book. Blank pages may bring terror to the unwary, like the...
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Moonrouse

Toffee penny moon stuck in the low branches of the birch between sagging buildings here. Dog fox barks down the dark in its den under the arched elm...
Cherry

Ice On The Inside

This is no false memory or nostalgia for harder times. I remind you of white days, water in the veins of the town, crystallised. More than summer's...