Thursday, August 12, 2010

The End of (Holi) Days

Oh well the sun is creeping over the hills and time is remorselessly marching towards that point when I pretend it's not the end of the holidays at all and launch myself on a desperate breenge to the magnetic north.

As a restless needle held by the constant north we
always have in mind.
JF Hendry

Some readings coming up, at the Wigtown Book Festival, the Conference of Librarians in Glasgow, the Saltire Society's commemorations of Willie Neill, the Scottish Potery Library in October, St Mungo's Mirrorball in November, then Stanza in March. Perhaps more important than all these is, however, the launching of Thomas Tosh's literary salon on Tuesday September 7th. Thomas Tosh is a place of exquisite refinement in Thornhill and anyone in the remote vicinity should abandon all plans to do anything else and turn on that evening to hear the award winning poet Vivien Jones, the exquisite Romford wordsmith and pamphleteer JoAnne MacKay and myself. It will be an evening that will live in memory and legend.

Poems written? Two. One about text messaging and one about the magical land between the Nith and the Scaur.

Nith Stone

Leave the world between bridges: the narrow one
across the Nith with its sentry box and the old
crossing at Scaur squatting on its Roman haunch.
There’s a shaded cup of fields between the bridges,
moss and trees darkened on every side by hills.
The royal holm is here where Bruce camped on his way
to heaven via Whithorn, and Penpont, still scratched
on maps after seven hundred years. Penpont,
an island, and The Nith Stone, totem of this pagan space.
Rain has swept the dogma from its sides
and smooth as a grape it stares from a bright clasp
of weeds, sizing up visitors and their burdens,
daring them to stay for a night here
in the blaze between the bridges,
below our thin, bright slice of moon.


Rachel Fox said...

StAnza - about bleedin' time! And I'd just decided to stop going altogether...

Marion McCready said...

Busy you, then! Really like the poem, lovely imagery.

hope said...

It's a shame you don't ever get out of the house. :)

You and the neighbor are starting to make me feel lazy, in spite of the fact I'm up to my neck in Estate paperwork for the Auntie who passed in May.

I will bask in your glory and forget the paperwork for a while. Good for you!

Titus said...

Reading fever! And 2011 may well have to be the year I go and see what StAnza is all about. The bag is obviously much better at networking than you are.
St Mungo's Mirrorball sounds like my kind of do too. Guessing Glasgow?

Poem touched me very deeply -

sizing up visitors and their burdens,
daring them to stay for a night here

was me 13 years ago. I remember so vividly my first visit, being driven over the bridge by Muriel, who'd come to pick me and Craig up from Thornhill after we'd come down on the bus from Glasgow. I saw the Cross and thought... this is not my place.

Still, the tunnel is getting longer.

God, Thomas Tosh sounds so good I want to be there myself.

Titus said...

And McKay. McKay.

Jean Atkin said...

StAnza - fantastic. I'd already decided 2011 should be the year I finally got there, but am much galvanised by this. What with Titus as well, a D&G posse is emerging to cheer you on.

Got T Tosh in the diary. Salon, eh?