Category Archives: Benson

Present in Scent

P1010409Chuffed to have my poem ‘Present in Scent’ in Ink, Sweat and Tears today.


Putting poetry on the map for Book Week Scotland

map

I love the idea of landscape as layers upon layers of fragmented story, like an old hoarding in town where torn and muddled fragments of years of past paint and posters are visible if you have the time to look and pick a bit.

Stanza’s Poetry Map of Scotland – a map with a meta layer of poetry – appeals on many levels.  This post is about an event next week where some contributors to the map (including yours truly) will be reading contributions as part of Book Week Scotland.  There’s also an open mic for ‘readings from the map’ so you can join in too if you like (see below for details).

 

screenshot-2016-10-31-08-40-32-1Quoted from the Stanza blog:

For Book Week Scotland in 2016, StAnza will turn its hugely popular project to map Scotland with poetry into a live event, taking place at Zest Coffee Shop in St Andrews on Thursday 24th November. More than 200 poems have been submitted since the project was launched in 2014. We have invited a selection of poets whose poems feature on the map to lead us on a poetic journey around Scotland, and Zest will make sure that we don’t lack food and drink for the trip.

Those taking part include Gordon Jarvie, Sue Haigh, Steve Smart, John Brewster and Lyn Moir. We’ll also have some open mic slots if anyone else would like to read their own poem from the map, or perhaps a poem from the map about a favourite place. You can browse the map online and if you’d like to ask for a reading slot, just email stanza@stanzapoetry.org.  The event is free and unticketed but if you’d like to be sure of getting a seat, email stanza@stanzapoetry.org for that as well.

Meantime here are those details again, and we hope to see you there:  Thursday 24 November 2016 18:30 – 20:00 at Zest Coffee Shop, 95 South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9QW.

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Present in scent

P1010409

In the evening darkness
You tap recent grace notes.

Singing moments more clearly
Than the instant of a bulb.

Coffee smooth as an unguent
Heralds near satisfactions.

The air dilutes her presence
Until a key click blooms with return.

If we shared a language
The words would still be silent.

Scents of slow time shadowing,
This longer minded now.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem 131: Balumbie, near Dundee

Thanks to Stanza for adding my poem ‘Developing’ to the Poetry Map of Scotland.

the StAnza Blog

Developing

“So Boo,” I whisper, “are we the old guard now?”

Boo glances at me then turns,
To sample a palimpsest of recent smells.
Food, mate, rival, friend, foe, fear, but definitely –
Food.

~

We out-flank Elm Gardens and Lime Grove,
On our own retreat from Moscow,
Rusting gorgets and ragged overcoats,
Shamefaced in the morning damps,
As we scatter dew drops from cobwebs,
Before suburbia stirs awake.

Silvered traces fade camouflaged
Dazzled under slick tar macadam
But I can still glimpse some prior paths
Still trace glinting scents of earlier intentions.

The rhody walk now rose-bayed over
Was once a road to her absent Mandalays.
A peripheral sniffer regularly hesitant,
By the sponge soft sequoia sequoia.
Hoodie damp, behaviour uncertain,
Prospects – not good.

Target spears like checkered survey pins
Chased with homecoming penants
Snap over freshly hoovered turf.
Yellow on green: please repair.

When they broke ground…

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In the squall

CarrotI like the wood in the squall,
Because it does feel safe to me.
The wind swells the tree tops
As the tide heaves the surf.

Overhead branches creak,
Great trunks have already fallen.
I like the wood in the squall,
Although it does not feel safe to me.


Foggy

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Wet Woods, a set on Flickr.

Foggy this morning,
Outside my head and in.
Autumn fog, rising in late summer heat.
I suffer an excess of insulation,
And scrunch my jumper into its pocket
While the dog waits as a handy standby batman.
Wet trees’ trunks arc seductively to plain-tone pales
Pocked by the slickly ripening domes
Of this season’s outcropping mushrooms.


Heliopause 2: A three tap toast

IMG_1182[vernal equinox, northern hemisphere]

The yule has turned
A quarter past
To this three-sixtyfived,
White spring equinox,
And six legged we two
Walk once again the path to
Carrot cairn.

At the first of three
I bid the silent tree
A fingerpost toast,
A triple tap:

For my quickened feet that
Bring me here and wander yet,
For living loved in hope,
For absent friends alive
As mind’s moment.

Angled canine brows
Question my ritual:
C’mon then, let’s go!