Friday, October 23, 2009

Proof at Last

Brilliant programme on radio 4 yesterday with Melvin Bragg discussing the geological formation of Britain. Answered a few questions.

Proof At Last

It’s in the rock record,
but we could have guessed.
Years ago, balmy Scotland
hugged the equator,
golden beaches, lush forests,
coconuts, bars on stilts,
beach volleyball, then one day
earth’s orbit tipped to an ellipse,
plates shifted, the oceans shut,
and on that flimsy pretext
England came hurling up
from its place in the Antarctic
and slammed us with its icy spine
into the North Atlantic,
shunted right up the sheuch
of Iceland with all the ensuing
mountains, herring, sleet,
Sundays, words like sheuch…
That’s it. No need for further talk.
At last, it’s proved, it’s all their fault.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Last minute effort at the TFE Challenge

Ghastly week, but Sylvia's cheery ditty did provide some food for thought. No title, yet, I'm afraid.

A week spent in the wake of disease,
and the efforts to repel its boarding
then ease its way when all was lost:
the comfort, that he lived a long time
and lived for others. Now I muse
on those who flirt prettily with life
and death, have kids and all the rest
while archiving full time in their heads
the past attempts to top themselves
and relishing with sexy glee the next
successful go. Self indulgence doesn’t
cover it, nor any art excuse it.
It's chaos and fire.
There’s nothing to admire.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A beautiful day, a day for dragging weans throught the woods, for wetting feet, for finding sticks and stones.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Balloon Man

Thought I'd join in TFE's weekly challenge.

The Balloon Man

This is no ordinary man.
His head is the eye of a flower.
He is held between the fact
of pavement and the fantasy of helium,
between the cash in hand
and the need to let go,
between the inhuman sheen of polyester,
and a dripping nose, no hand for hankies.
More than that, though, he is cursed.
His message is implacable.
For ten pounds he will divine your lives:
the hours bumping against a ceiling,
the long years shrivelled and burst.
At night when the streets are tar black
he will float home on a bubble of gas,
and spend the time you’re asleep
making thousands of thin smiles.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Pottery Frenzy

A period of strange and uncharacteristic activity over the next week in the pottery field for the self effacing bard of Park View:

Firstly the bard Shug will appear at Wallace Hall Academy on Wednesday morning in three workshops with weans.

Then Thursday 8th October is National Poetry Day, or Notional Poetry Day as I prefer to call it, in which a galaxy of stars will appear at the Poetry Porch in the Midsteeple.The bard Shug is favoured to be one of the 8 poets chosen (others include Norman McCaig and Jackie Kay) to represent the theme 'Heroes and Heroines' in a series of poetry postcards issued by the Scottish Poetry Library. So Shug's spider will be ubiquitous. He will also appear in the National Library of Scotland's website on NPD with some of the poems from Postcards from the Hedge.

On Friday night, 9th October, the bard Shug will be in Montrose reading with Raymond Vettese in a gig arranged by the brilliant Rachel Fox at the Links Hotel. 7.30 kick off.

Then on Monday 12th October he will appear in Poetry Doubles with the excellent Imtiaz Dharker in the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries starting 7.00pm.

Round about 10 in the evening of the 12th October the bard Shug will then disappear, like Brigadoon, for another 100 years.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Paddy Kelly and the Banjo Tree

Paddy Kelly and the Banjo Tree

Paddy Kelly, sent oan an eerant
by his auld Mither,
wastit a the cash oan lager
an when he wis plaistert
stummled oan a banjo,
takt it hame, gey prood o himsel.
His ma leathered him.
Whit de ye think yer dain
saunterin back here bluitert wi a banjo
ye saucie gowk, an a the siller gan?
Couped it richt oot the windae.
Next day whit do ye think
but a big braw magic banjo tree?
Paddie’d tak a new yin every day
and strum a the way tae the village:
he didnae hae tae be fu tae play it,
but awbody else had tae be
tae thole listenin,
so the hale toon’s economy was sauft.