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Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 393

Wednesday 31 March 2021, 19:19

On Gillies Hill

More than familiar ties
attract me to this crag.
Ancestral voices drag me back.
I face far more
than four encompassed points
from this high wooded cliff.

Seen

The chequered spaces of the farmed carse
stretch south, snaked through
by ribboned windings of the Forth;
and, to the north,
flows to the feet of far, known mountain peaks:
Ben Vorlich, Ben Venue, Ben Ledi.

Remnants of small volcanoes -
fire and brimstone -
heap the river plain, now here, now there,
with leafy, ancient evidence:
Craigforth, the Wallace Monument, King's Park.

Brown velvet moorland, sewn with sheep,
slopes up towards the west.
Dark eastern ramparts of the Ochil Hills
protect the downward glaciated line
of Castle Rock and town.

Remembered

Memory looks down
whenever I come home to this known ledge.
It walks each time along the ridge,
stalks soft across the upland heathered fields,
marches away, beyond the silhouetted blue horizoned edge
of the child's vision;
watches, in the deep doved woods, the wee girl -
drowned in lipstick, high heels, Sunday hat -
listens to her tap-dance singing
on the big stage stone,
to an audience of trees;
lies, easeful, in the yellow grain below,
with the first sharp sweetnesses
of love,
all through a long, slow,
summer afternoon.

Sensed

But there's a deeper tune.
Chords resound far, far beneath
self-generated echoes.

Sheathed in the earth, the woven fabric
is stretched paper-thin.
Within the second of an eyelid opening, closing,
the outward skin drops, layer by layer,
exposing more, and more.

High, ritual platforms, lashed among the pines,
flash on an atavistic, primal wing,
sway once upon the wind and disappear.

Time slips, uncertain, falls:
races, without hour, or day or year,
calls along channels present, future, past,
and fades in the soundless corridors of space.

In this place, life maps - charts of souls -
are, in the end, mere fragments
in the vast depository
of the old world's age;
its story, leafed and bound,
rolled up within the rib bones
of this stone hill vault,
page on unending page.

Irene Paterson Fletcher

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 392

Tuesday 30 March 2021, 16:14

Five Bar Gate

Diane tried to make it from the countryside
Got to the Valley rather late
Everyone was up on the YMCA floor
Dancing to the five bar gate.

Jimmy got lost near the Novar Bar
Stood there drinking very late.
He wanted to dance but he hadn’t the key
To get into the five bar gate.

Sitting in the street near the city sewers
Talking ‘bout you with my mate
We knew you were away with another boy
Dancing to the five bar gate.

John Worling

Author’s Note: If I’d grown up in the Mississippi Delta I’d have grown up with 8 bar blues, but I grew up in Kirkcaldy.

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 391

Monday 29 March 2021, 17:29

The Dweller and the Guest

There is no wildlife here, he says.
It is a barren landscape.
A word he has carried
from a distant classroom
along with crevasse,
moraine, erratic.

I turn to the mountains
with a stranger’s eyes,
beseeching a display.
But the cloud is moody, low and grey.
Our beloved Cairngorms
are not on form today.

Are the ptarmigan shy among the rocks?
Have the snow hare melded into moss?
The song of the ring ouzel,
conspicuous in silence.
No snow bunting, no dotterel,
no lime-spattered lichen.

My guest takes pity on me.
We have deer on our city lawns,
he confides. Rabbits, foxes,
badgers, voles. Then he goes
in search of carrot cake
and bacon rolls.

Alone now with the chairlift.
Dormant towers looming
from the mist. The snow plough,
fences, discarded wire. Somehow,
this abandoned playground
had made of me a liar.

But then the Shelter Stone leaned
a roar into the deep of A’an,
where shadows of Macdui rose
to take the soul and shape
of one grey man. And when
the Coires’ shoulders shook
alive, an angry avalanche
of rock came vaulting down.
I called back my guest. Too late.
He had already left for town.

Karen Hodgson Pryce

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

A Call for StAnza Trustees

Friday 26 March 2021, 11:50

StAnza, Scotland’s unique international poetry festival, is looking for new members to join the Board of Trustees. Having delivered a very successful online festival this year, StAnza is at an exciting time in its development, entering a changed and challenging arts environment under its new Festival Director, Lucy Burnett.

We are aiming for inclusivity, richness of experience and diversity to ensure a StAnza Board of Trustees that reflects the diversity of contemporary society. We would expect applicants to have an active interest in poetry, whether as writers or readers.

With the retirement of several Trustees, we are looking for particular skills to refresh the Board’s range:

  • experience of and interest in the digital environment, especially as a ‘digital native’
  • experience of developing equalities, diversity and inclusion action
  • experience of fundraising
  • dealing with environmental issues in an arts context.

And we are looking to fill two posts:

  • Vice-Chair – with a view to taking over as Chair in 2022
  • Shadow Treasurer – again with a view to taking on this post in 2022.

The Board meets 4/5 times a year, generally alternating between St Andrews and Edinburgh, although currently meeting by Zoom. It is chaired by Dr Robyn Marsack, who would welcome inquiries from those interested in joining the Board. Full information is available in the Trustees’ pack, available here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 390

Thursday 25 March 2021, 16:54

Loch Ordie

She is whirls, of
argent and raven,
she is pools of
unbroken eternity,

where jagged pike,
honed abyssal             arrows,
consume
blank space.
Here is
Stygian subterfuge, an
onyx underworld, as

midnight anglers (from another world)
attempt to pierce the
primeval meniscus. It is
their calling
from the cave.

O, She is Female!, moulding
herself into lichened glacial
granite,
and insisting upon the
inundation of the
aisles- intellectual
inside this Man-poet.
      Liquid,
she is, but deceptive: Muse-elemental.

October moon, lighted within by
blushing Tranquility, illuminates
tiny tragedies below, as forces
erupt,
snagging on lines the necks of men,
dragged, snagged, under, as

pike gallop
across seething surfaces,
in their flight across
millennia,
pursued,
harrowed by ancient fear,
reaching far beyond
articulation.

Garry Stanton

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map *Global for #StAnza21*: poem no. 389

Wednesday 24 March 2021, 18:19

Waking Up in San Francisco

Dawn cracks open morning,
streaks peach over night’s fading navy.
Out of the half-light, the Nightingale House
looms, gothic and ghostly.  No-one knows
what lies behind the closed blinds.

On the street below a lone car
prowls over unseen speed pillows
dips towards downtown.
Headlights stalk shadows
along apartment walls.

Far above the horizon,
the sky pales to washed-out denim.
Tree-lined hilltops
promise forest trails
among Giant Redwoods.

In the distance, the city stirs.
Trams rattle down Market Street,
tinny bells echoing in the crisp air.
The sun hesitates behind clouds
before a sudden downpour.

Angela Blacklock-Brown

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map
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