Hinterland

Hinterland

Hinterland

 

They say it doesn’t rain here much, often, but

when it does, canopies of merciless cloud snuff out

 

every last square of the sky, hanging about the fields

like a quarrel, forgotten without ever being resolved,

 

and empty themselves in angled swipes that paste

both barley and nettles to the red earth, bleeding into

 

the leather boots and loafers of commuters on trains,

who steam coolly in their seats all the way into Waverley.

 

 

first published in Southlight Magazine, 2017

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Flood

Flood


Flood

 

We did not see the swollen river

overtop its banks, failed by the

modest bow of its channel, its

traffic doubled by the bludgeon

of three consecutive moonrises

under rain, waters earth-brown.

 

Instead, we passed a day later,

taken by the bleached streamers

of torn-up grass, stretched like

comet-tails from the lowest boughs

of thornbushes, calm swirls of sand

making fish-loops across our path.

 

 

first published in Southlight Magazine, issue 22, 2017

Four poems published in Southlight #22

I’ve recently received a copy of issue 22 of Southlight Magazine, which contains four of my poems – “Planting Cyclamen”, “Hinterland”, “Flood” and the following homage to the finest roasting potato there is.

Many thanks again to Southlight’s editors John Burns, Vivien Jones and Angus Macmillan for choosing to include my poems in their fantastic magazine.


Arran Victory

 

After the long, silent, underground campaign,

the cut-down stems have all surrendered,

sucked back to ash-coloured paper tubes,

poking like rifle barrels through the mounds of soil.

 

It is October. The exhausted sun struggles

to shoo away the dew, and thinks of elsewhere.

A fork unearths the tubers, purple as new bruises,

shining impossibly like a clutch of alien eggs, but

 

hours later, in the roasting pan, they mellow

back to a prosaic brown, with russet blushes,

salt-crusted crunches around the soft flesh,

that moment of glory brief, but unforgettable.

 

 

Launch of Southlight 22 at the Wigtown Book Festival

Issue 22 of Southlight Magazine will be launched this coming Saturday, 23rd September, at the Wigtown Book Festival, a 10-day literary celebration in Scotland’s National Book Town.

This issue includes four of my poems: Planting cyclamen; Hinterland; Flood and Arran Victory. My thanks go to Southlight’s editorial team of John Burns, Vivien Jones and Angus Macmillan for choosing my poems. Best wishes for a successful launch – wish I could be there!