A gothic nook

It was beneath the trees of the grounds belonging to our house, or on the bleak sides of the woodless mountains near, that my true compositions of the airy flights of my imagination , were born and fostered.

So wrote the Mary Shelley reflecting on her time spent at in “The Cottage” on Dundee’s Broughty Ferry Road.

She thought differently of the place in later years, however, “…my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee. Blank and dreary on retrospection I call them; they were not so to me then. They were the eyry of freedom, and the pleasant region where unheeded I could commune with the creatures of my fancy.

“The Cottage” is long gone but today, on a substantial buttress wall (dated 1899) in Dundee’s South Baffin Street, a plaque marks the spot. I was nearby this morning, and as the Wyvern Poets are currently working on a ‘Frankenstein’ project, I thought I’d pay a visit.

Curiously, I couldn’t help thinking that Mary’s later thoughts might have been even more gothic if fed from the place as it is today. A fine location for a scary movie…


FIRTH

News about Beth McDonough’s new poetry publication Firth. It’s an excellent idea, and I’m very delighted to have a poem included in issue 1.

Rebecca Gethin

A new poetry magazine has just taken to the water.  Firth is the brainchild of Beth McDonough, a wonderful Scottish poet whose poetry goes from strength to strength.   I am very privileged to have a poem in the inaugural issue among many.   Look at the lovely cover.  20180525_162834 As it subtitle is Poems for giving’ I have one copy to give away to the first person to Contact Me and bag it.

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Of the Marvels

This month’s prompt from Wyvern Poets was ‘a found poem’. I’d been looking at tweets by Martin O’Leary with images from HiRISE, an incredibly high resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter.

The pictures are amazing. Some of them make me think of colour field paintings by Rothko, some of lush folds of the richest silks. The titles of the images interested me too. They seem to make an accidental blend of succinct description and (at least to my ears) sensuously exotic place names.

I decided to make a piece that brought these titles and images together with some found words by another famous traveler to strange lands – Marco Polo.

The result was this found poem/video.

With special thanks to NASA/JPL/University of Arizona for the use of their fabulous images, and to Martin O’Leary for @HiRISEBot.

Of the Marvels

Best viewed with sound ON, and better yet, some nice cosy headphones…

More –

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Reading at Platform in April

 

Jings – I’m officially ‘on the bill’ for April 7th. For a wee spot only, I hasten to add. Still, I’d better work out which poems I’m going to offer!

You have been warned…

(where’s that wobbly nerves emoji…?)

More details here…


Time is

A wee oddity written in response to a ‘reading in both directions’ prompt. It seemed appropriate to post this week.

R.I.P. Professor Stephen Hawking, 8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018.

Time is

sweet
    eternity makes a fine Dundee cake,
      and
        everything that exists at any moment
          is
            one single sampled quantum of fruit
            Buddhists say time is an illusion,
            although
                we learn how to tell time
                time always tells on us
            although
            Buddhists say time is an illusion,
            one ticky fruity nugget tasted
          is
        everything everywhere now
      and
    eternity makes a fine Dundee cake,
precious
.

Time is

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ticky: a little piece (Dundonian)


Osmosis

Un-mortar my walls.
Crumble brittle stone grit
to honest sand.
Dissolve me through skin,
whispering to skin.
Your skin.
Your warmth.

A story place made real,
substance shimmering
like mirage challenged light,
crazed to uncertain travel,
tear steps evaporated,
one world’s rumour,
diffused in another.

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Echo at DCA

AECD0E19-2AE6-435A-8722-B62A16615DEFBy sheer coincidence more than any sort of planning I’m reading with two fellow Wyvern poets at DCA’s ‘Echo’ event next Thursday. The Echo events are visitors’ responses to exhibitions at DCA.

The Echo will be at DCA on Thursday 8th February at 6 o’clock. It’s free, but you do need to order tickets in advance.

More here