Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no 293

Seven Stanzas for StAnza (2020)

I learned in-line rhym-
ing three beers from resolved to absolve,
where a bard in the bar
is worth twa in the Byre
and I guess you’re right: pace yersel.

I learned that flat white can be quiet
a crowd at an open mic can’t shout too loud,
as the mic is always too high or too low,
murmuration’s no measure of volume
and I know you’re right: watch yersel.

I learned that a shard in the foot
of a verse cuts me worse
than a razor clam out on West Sands,
single malt is no measure of volume
and of course you’re right: mind yersel.

I learned that it was time for bed
when the poet said “I don’t dance,
no really, I’m good”
though we knew that they would
and you’ll surely say: take a look at yersel.

I learned no one sings happy birthday
even once at the sink after twelve
and the gulls here crow free with the room
and coffee and coffee it bears repetition
though I know that you’ll say: well hell mend ye!

And like the bard said, it is time for bed,
but my poem which sings in the shower
doesn’t dance on the page
and still dies on the stage
and I hear you say: well I telt yer.

As I head for a beach that is harder to reach
where makars skim stones whistling
sand in their shoes breaking waves of
lucidity down at the blade of the drinkers’
moon, I am cutting this line about what you might say
in the light of advice at a workshop.

David Bleiman

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