Category Archives: time

Breaking the mould

Breaking the mould

In the box-van back a mirror cabinet
trembles leafy outer worlds under
a roller-back gate of steel, half open,
like the cloth-bound shell of my father’s desk,
a sticking portal to cryptic drawers, tiny shelves,
to faint unsmoked tobaccos of before.

Ahead, and through my windscreen,
outside inside, green shimmers framed
by the mover strapped hardwood mouldings,
whisper hints of a remote Narnian spring.

Breaking the Mould grins in lean sans-serif,
strap-line wry beneath the tailgate logo.
I pray granny’s paper-lined display case
will pass Dens Road’s potholes un-cracked,
that still somewhere seven more years’ luck,
or even fair Cair Paravel, might be found intact.

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Morning post

Morning post

hoarfrosted contours
time served by seasons
in another life
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Old dog standing

Old dog standing

You’re an old dog now, no mistake.
Titanic as you weigh anchor to embark
from under the table, your safe-harbour
day-bed, out on to the linoleum sea.

The idea of standing is there
but between your back feet cross
caught napping, and front feet
skiting wide like a novice pond skater,

it takes time and struggle for the plan
to swim. Trying to float, confusion flaps
behind the George Clooney gaze,
signals flag a drift cast slightly all-at-sea.

Until at last you stand four-square
floor-launched to general relief,
we all tracked your slipway staggers,
familiar waters met though bearings lost.

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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
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Time is

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ticky: a little piece (Dundonian)


a tree speaks

In November there will be an exhibition at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh called Grown Together. Timed to coincide with the launch of the Tree Charter, this will feature the work of nineteen artists with a shared interest in trees.  I’ve been working on video material for a loop which will be part of a small installation.  The videos combine ambient audio captured in some local woodlands with animated  text and readings of some of my poems from the small collection called Drawing breath.

Here’s a test piece for one of my videos.  (Please ignore the headphone graphic near the start – it’s just there to indicate that there is audio to passing visitors).

The poem takes a tree’s-eye-view of passing humans, coming around to memory and how remembering works, or doesn’t…

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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.

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A portrait of our times as peat

portait-of-our-times-as-peat

A portrait of our times as peat

Rain upon rain tilthed loam,
levelled to pudding black lake,
a dark carboniferous hag
of uncertain depth and liquidity.
Too far for giant leaping.

Is there a submarine step
sunk safe a pace ahead?
Perhaps – there often is, or

so they say.

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