Larry Butler

Larry Butler was born in the USA and has lived in Glasgow since 1981. He teaches tai-chi in healthcare settings and leads therapeutic writing groups at the Maggie Cancer Care Centre, and in the Kibble Palace of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. His publications include Butterfly Bones (Two Ravens) and Han Shan Everywhere (Survivors' Press). As an arts researcher, he carried out a feasibility study for the Greater Glasgow Health Board based around the idea of arts on prescription. A poet and editor for PlaySpace Publications, he trains/mentors writers and storytellers to lead creative words for wellbeing groups with Lapidus Scotland, as well as editing and commissioning new creative prompts for their facilitator toolkit. The next publication he will be editing is called Living Our Dying – the more we talk about death the more lively we become – with 21 Scottish writers contributing. See a film of his reading alongside musicians Ratnadevi and Thom Harlow here.

Larry Butler

Photo: Ratnadevi


Between the Covers »

Round off your day with poetry from Larry Butler

Thu 11 March | 22:00 - 22:15 | FREE | StAnza Online


The Earth Says
(after Hokasai Says)

The earth says
keep still
stay put & listen to the roar of silence
hold on & root deep for treasure
feel the sap rising through your bones
wait & see what happens

The river says
keep flowing
into the lochs swirling & swelling & swishing
keep floating down       down & down
falling & carving the mountains
down to the beautiful sea

The trees say
keep rooting
rooting & rising into sky –
spread out your arms to embrace everything
breathe deep     deeper with each falling leaf
gather fruit & nuts for winter

The sky says
keep looking
sniff the air & notice the small
changes moment by moment
breath by breath       cloud by cloud
watching your thoughts float by

The birds say
keep singing           sing from your heart
fly from branch to branch
stay curious        stay light        start fresh
each year with a new nest then be patient
& sit on your eggs till they hatch
The sun says
keep smiling
smile at your reflection on still water
from dawn to dusk go outside
out to play with light & shadow
in the day long dazzle leaping through thin air

The compost heap says
keep rotting       
decomposing        turning        burning
digest everything that comes your way
keep returning to the earth
& the earth     returns      tenfold to you

the earth says keep still    stay put
wait & see what happens       next

Larry Butler