Monday, November 13, 2006

Good Cheer for Makar

Some good cheer for Drumsleet's second best poet this morning as it transpires that one of his poems has been chosen by editor Janice Galloway to be included in 'The 20 best Scottish Poems of 2006' to be published later this month. This has been a good year for anthologies, as the troubled bard has also appeared in Edinburgh University Press' 'Edinburgh Book of 20th Century Scottish Poetry' and the Methuen Anthology 'Poems for every Day'. This and the news that his new collection 'Strange Bamboo' is on course to be published in April will bring the misspent makar some much needed encouragement and inner strength as winter takes fierce hold in the tundra and ice-fields round Drumsleet.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


The reputation of Drumsleet's second best poet was in disarray last night following revelations that he had posted on the net poetry which, it is alleged, was written by another. The three lines comprising 'the Shortest Limericks of All Time' were actually, it was claimed, written by up to 25,000 other people. McMillan's defence, that he and a poet called Stuart Paterson actually wrote these lines together in 1999, was easily dismissed. As Paterson, a Gregory Award winning writer from Manchester, said this morning:

"It's almost true, but I thought them up by myself- he was unconscious at the time. He is just a piece of slime."

Paterson himself may regret this particular epithet as it leaves him open to charges of plagiarism.

In another dramatic development this afternoon, Dean Vaughan, ecologist and heir to the principality of Galloway, himself claimed ownership to these tiny lyrics, citing as evidence the hitherto unknown existence of a third stanza, a three line limerick-

'There was a young man from Dundee
whose limericks stopped in line three.
There. Told you so.'

The case continues. McMillan is 148 years old. This will be his second fatwah.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drumsleet and God

In case you thought the citizens of Drumsleet were devoid of spiritual outlets.

Porta del Mare

Last year in this blog I was drivelling away about the pub in Ciutedella which I claimed was one of the best four or five in the world. Behold, folks, what has become of it. Let this be a lesson. Cherish your watering holes lest they become rubble before thy eyes.

Before Tea

Before Tea

Let us go then, little girls, into the mist,
to pick autumn pictures from leaf and mould,
stir up layers of ourselves in potholes,

and see our smiles break and swim.
Let us watch the river seethe,
bite hard on rocks and broken trees,

and stand here while the world shifts
below our boots, a tiny notch,
our breathing hung like smoke.

Can you hear it, do you feel it?
Never again like that, we three:
now girls, slowly, home for tea.