Category Archives: passion

drawing breath

Trees can be very big, and some of them are very old. Their character and way of life is complex, in many ways hidden, and very different from our own. They can make us pause and they can make us gasp.

drawing breath is a collection of twelve poems arising from a collaboration with visual artist Tansy Lee Moir.

I’ve made booklet with the poems, some photographs, and some of Tansy’s drawings, and I’ve also made a series of recordings of readings.  Hope you like them!

You can find links to all of these and more about our collaboration here.

.

.

.

.

.


‘…gonna have to go with wrath.’

hospital for rhetorical

A statue depicting the wrathful face of the Bhuddist Wisdom King Fudō Myōō. 'Serenity' is the more commonly known face of Bhuddism. (more...

Serenity is a widely known aspect of Bhuddism, but wrath also gets a fair shout (or at least a scowl) in Japanese art like this statue of Wisdom King Fudō Myōō. (more…)

Quizzed philosophically in mid-combat to name his sin, Joss Whedon’s character Malcolm Reynolds quips “Ah Hell… I’m a fan of all seven. But right now… I’m gonna have to go with wrath.” I’m with Mal on at least four of the classic collection, but I usually try to be not quite so much in touch with my inner wrath as the maverick captain.

Perhaps I used to do anger more easily than I do now. But while I may be short on heroism, I am increasingly appalled, if unsurprised, by what seems the calculating madness of more than a few politicos apparently in the ascendant. Yes, I am become ‘Narked of Brigadoon’ (if not simply ‘Fearful of Brigadoon’).

To get a better handle on my wrath, I thought I’d try to tune in to some of what the younger me – perhaps packing a more toothsome armoury of hormones – was ranting about.

Remarkably, I think some of it did still made some sense.
Here are a couple of blasts …

 


Survival kit

survival-kit

Survival Kit

A story is commuted,
In unusual company,
Of a forgotten briefcase.

Continue reading


White heart

11418048-largeThis poem was written after I saw a picture of a ‘ghost heart’. This is a kind of ‘protein scaffold’ in researchers hope to be able use to grow a new human heart which will not have problems with rejection by the recipient’s immune system. It’s a remarkable image, I found it at once beautiful, hopeful, and troubling. (more about ‘ghost hearts’…)
rejection
.
.
.

White heart

Delicate snowball cradled in latex,
Grotesque confectionary beauty,
Like a glass seed distilled from haar frost,
A harvested death, still unprimed for life.
.
Wrapped in an eastern widow’s veil,
A bridal chalice engraved with loss,
Gently cupped with gloved competence,
A denatured vessel etched in air.
.
Reborn, bloody, swollen and restarted,
Will this pale ornament seem quite so fine?
Bonny is as bonny dances, pressing
By hot and ruddy, stealing heat from stone.
.
The image cusps our movement in-between,
Risky hopes drawn from disembodied flesh.
.
.
.

Slow dance

I’ve been giving my Soundcloud site a little attention.  There are one or two earlier recordings there, but I’ve also just uploaded a reading of a short new poem called ‘Slow Dance’.

I wrote this as part of a short writing course I attended recently at Dundee University given by the excellent Lindsay MacGreggor (Lindsay has just published a new pamphlet called ‘Weepers’)

.

.

.

 


Craig

craig_mcknight

in memoriam

Charm troubled trouble,
Infuriating, annoying,
And improbable friend.

Six years after you departed,
But finger counting back,
Decades out of touch.

Dodging past shadows
To reprint you – upswept
And skipping gravity.

One hand standing, when
You joshed the world aloft,
As easy as sweat.

.

.

.


Swift touches

Prowling baton points
Rifling air in appetite,
Yaw sickle curves,
Feathering down
Sinewed barley scallops,
Tipping perception,
As light and sure
As questioning
Fingertips.

.

.

.