Roderick Manson

Born in West Ferry, Dundee and now living in Blairgowrie, Roderick Manson's writing is very substantially defined by the writing challenges he sets himself, from ‘The Coffin Road’ (below), which was written while walking an old Angus coffin road, to ‘Highland Lines’, written whilst seated on a train at or around every mainline railway halt north of Glasgow, Perth and Dundee. ‘The Appointed Hour’, inspired by an idea of his musical idol Peter Hammill, is his most adventurous collaborative project to date, in line with his belief that “There is no failure; there are only results.”


The Appointed Hour »

A workshop on writing in collaboration, led by Roderick Manson

Sat 4 March | 12:00 - 16:10 | FREE | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Upstairs Foyer


The Coffin Road


The inconsiderate guest
came late last night:
in the terminal moment
he outstayed his welcome
and left a mess of flesh
that once was loved
and now had to be cleared.


It is not the wind,
ice-sculpting the shroud of snow
that makes us shiver

but the passage.

Way Cairn

Bread of Life;
Water of Life;
The Word is Rest.

Broom Hill

We come no closer to heaven
than this
as the long descent of men
weight shifts
from shoulders
to hearts
that do not beat
as once they did.


Snow-skin flakes
from heather hands
that grasp
from every Circle.

Do we descend thus far?

River Isla

At the end of the journey
a crossing
to some other side

Glenisla Kirk

The jarring of life
in silence
and stone.


A wooden oubliette
is lowered
into earth
that wraps remembrance
below that transient stone
that graves a name
in time
when all who know have passed

leaving only The Mercy.

Epilogue – The Bearers

They mourned the passing
and the crossing.
They journey back,
relieved of burdens,
rejoicing -
north winds
to fires.


Roderick Manson