Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Walking Quietly

I'm afraid this blog, rich source of wisdom though it is, fell foul of the easy lures of Facebook. I am less enamoured of pussbook now so am inclined to meander back here in my dotage, back to tales of Theosyphilis Neill- yes still bringing in the contraband thistlemilk by barge down the Nith every Sunday morning- Macduff and the rest.

I have retired from being a pedagogue though have been drawn back by episodic penury. I am still writing to some effect, but this effect is not so far visible in my wallet.  Two books have come and gone, and  Others are on the stocks, more talk of them soon.

Currently I am writing some poems about Original Nations in America. There has always been a rumour, backed up it must be said by DNA evidence, that a great grandparent was of this stock: a very exciting prospect. I have always walked quietly in Capenoch Wood, for instance, another sure sign. Researching Bufallo Bill's Wild West Show and its visits to Scotland, I came upon the tale of Crazy Dancer, one of the Sioux Ghost Dancers who was sprung from incarceration to tour with Bufallo Bill and re-enact the destruction of his own people on  daily basis. He spent some time in Barlinnie having been arrested in a pub. here's a poem about it: The picture is from Buffalo Bills visit to Dumfries.

Ghost  Dancing
in the Gallowgate 1892

After one whisky too many
Crazy Dancer
thumped a minder
over the head with a doorstop

but before that had reached
an understanding
beyond the need for words
with Donald from Sligachan

whose leg was shot off
in Egypt with the Seaforths.
They both lived in
the hem of their histories

ragged at the edges
telling stories for beer
over and over
in the insistent poetry of tongues

as though the fevered act
of repetition might
reel back time
and the landscapes
black with ghosts.


Rachel Fox said...

Welcome back...

hope said...

I second that!