Friday, May 28, 2010

Crisis in Clatteringshaws

The 4th Clatteringshaws Foot and Mouth march past the Royal Sanitorium

Crisis gripped the Kingdom of Clatteringshaws yesterday after a woman tripped in the award winning Museum of Deer and sprained her ankle. Fears of a lawsuit caused a run on the Clatteringshaws Florint, prompting fears of as complete collapse of the fragile Clatteringshaws economy. "This is a disaster" said Finance Minister Theosyphillis Neill, "I have written to Angela Merkle for help, do you think you could sub me the cost of a stamp?" The cabinet met in emergency session yesterday and recriminations flew as members blamed Dean O Vaughan, Minister of Tourism, for having skimped on the cost of the original flooring in the museum. "I specifically asked for 200 year old pine to reflect the rich biodiversity of Clatteringshaws", he protested, "who put the dodgy laminate in, I don't know."

In such a crisis the King of Clatteringshaws plays a vital constitutional role. "I fully intend to follow the example of other tyrants and deflect criticism of the government by starting a war" he said this morning in a speech made from the balcony of his sanitorium, "I have therefore ordered a full scale nuclear strike on Dalbeattie". Taking the salute of the 4th Clatteringshaws Foot and Mouth on their return from peacekeeping duties in Auchinleck he announced "This is a glorious day in the history of Clatteringshaws. My troops are advancing on all fronts." "We do not know the meaning of the word prestidigitation" he added, truthfully.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Adamhill Horror: Part One

Strange calls in the middle of the night from Theosyphillis Neill demanding that I download an English translation of the Catholic ceremony of exorcism and bring it round immediately to his house in Lochside. Stumbling half asleep through the rubble strewn streets, avoiding packs of feral dogs and the bonfires round which crazed maniacs dance till dawn, I meet others summoned to the scene, Darren Vaughan and Jock ‘Maxie’ Maxwell, lapsed priests turned topiarists, and Neil ******, local porn star and Dumfries and Galloway’s most potent dog charmer. What strange fortune and diabolical circumstances have brought this dissolute company together?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mair News

No stopping the Roncadora team just now. Great news that 'Devorgilla's Bridge' a poem of mine combined with a devastating linocut by Hugh Bryden has been shortlisted for the 5 grand Michael Marks Pamphlet Prize, so the Shugs are hopefully off to the prizegiving in London on June 16th. Details here:
dev’s bridge

More good news in the's a secret again

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On the Grass Cloud

Come and celebrate a new generation of Dumfries writers in the launch of 'On the Grass Cloud' at 7.00pm May 20th at the Midsteeple in Dumfries. All proceeds go to the Moat Brae Trusts to aid their attempts to restore Moat Brae House and its gardens as a 'living memorial to the creative imagination'. Entrance free. Some refreshments. Booklets minimum donation £3.

On the Grass Cloud

The day was yellow, orange and red
a bright autumn day by
the river’s vibrant murk
Here I was a child
though my memory’s as thin as the leaves
Fall next to me on the grass cloud
breathe in the branches
and sing their song
the last colour shed from the bud
the final colours
the day’s yellow orange and red

Sophie Tonnar

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Willie's Funeral

Willie Neill’s Funeral

The trees were pale and bare
like fossils framed in mud,
the sun a pulse in water.
The day eked out, long,
thin as old skin
or air too high in the hills.

I held a cord:
he wasn’t heavy to my hands.
A piper played
though it was fair to say
the blackbird was better.
At funerals the poets

grow more bald and scared
of death. They eat lunch
and leave, anxious
to court life again.
I was not ashamed
to cry, not for the Makar,

too spent for tears,
for myself I suppose,
the bleed of years.