Category Archives: POETRY

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hand pen writing plant

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I hadn’t seen her in a decade,
Not since that time we …
Now she’s lying before me, tucked-up warm
In hospital sheets.

Her face is older now, saggy in parts –
And sallow. Her mouth puckers into
A tight circle when I arrive, an ‘Oh!’
Like that time we…

She touches my arm, cold fingers
That leave cold circles for minutes after.
‘How have you been? How time flies,
Tell me, what have you done since…
You know.’

Her shoulders hunch, eyebrows rise.
She reads my face, faster
Than the note I left by her bed…

‘Tell me,’ she insists, ‘did you sail to that island,
Where the wind whips the waves
Onto the lighthouse by the edge
Of the sea. Did you?

‘Did you climb the thousand stone steps
To the castle in the sky,
Where the world ends
And life unfolds like a paper chain?’

‘Did you finally find that missing moment,
Capture it in a photograph,
A half-truth bent into a scrap
Of happiness?
Or did you leave it behind?’

Her chestnut eyes leave mine,
Trail the cracks on the ceiling
And rest in the corner of room.
The sound of my footsteps echo
After I leave.

Eilidh G Clark

The Lift

There’s a story behind this poem. We were staying in a hotel because the floor in the flat we were living in had wood worm and the council were ripping it up. It was a weird set up, two of us and two dogs crammed into a double room in a Travel Lodge for a week;  in the middle of an industrial estate! Needless to say we used the lift a lot. It was a busy lift with people from all nationalities coming and going, so I wrote this poem (or a version of it) on a piece of paper and stuck it to the mirror. I told whoever found it to take it with them and stick it in a lift in the next hotel they visited and so on and so on. I don’t know if it made it anywhere else because I saw a cleaner go into the lift shortly afterwards but I like to think it travelled the world.

photography of a woman on elevator

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The Lift

Welcome to the smallest room in the hotel,
The shiny box, The bare bones, the up and downs
The coming’s
The going’s.

I offer you ten seconds to make a friend,
Eight to fall in love. Make somebody’s morning –
Hello, Hallo, Salut, Ciao, Hola, ……

I offer six seconds, to put on your face,
Four to wipe it clean. Make up excuses –
Traffic, Arbeit, Slaap, Morte

For two seconds you can pick a floor,
Tell a truth behind closed doors, tell a truth
You never told before –
Ma olen segaduses
Jestem samotny
Jeg er red
Je suis gay

I am the quietest room in the hotel,
I offer you a second alone,
One delicious seconds, to be who you truly are
Before I set you free.

I hope you have enjoyed your stay.

The Break of Dawn

two white and black cows inside shed

Photo by Dan Hamill on Pexels.com

It was dawn when they arrived.
Two orange beams of light
Cutting tight between the lines of furrows,
And illuminating trees.
Her baby stirred.

It was dawn when they arrived.
Gravel crumbling under tyres.
A slither of sun crowning the hill,
And puffs of cloud lay as still
As her sleeping calf.

It was dawn when they arrived.
Two brown rubber boots crunching
On grass, still tipped with frozen dew.
A banging gate. A magpie flew.
The baby shook.

It was dawn when they arrived.
Two white hands and a noose.
A gate held ajar by a damp lump of wood
Four white walls, a nest of hay,
A trembling baby stood.

It was dawn when they arrived.
Two blue eyes trailing the floor,
Stealing her crying calf out of the door
White walls, empty bed, empty floor
Her mother stood – alone.

It was dawn they left.

Spring Is Failing

pexels-photo-209839.jpeg

Spring is failing.

And it’s not just the forecast

Crooned by the weather person

Or the news headlines saying –

‘Scotland still without power,’ – it’s failing!

 

It’s failing the birds

And the hibernating animals,

Too scared to wake, too tired to sleep.

 

It’s failing the people;

Stung from the gas boards who rub

Their fat hands over fat blue flames.

 

And as the meter’s tick, tick, tick, empty –

Spring is failing.

 

 

And still the snow dances,

Falling from the sky like confetti

On a stone man’s wedding,

While the red breasted bird

Salvages the last piece of fat

From the half moon, hanging by a rope

out back.

Spring is failing.

 

 

 

Refugee

 

Dawn breaks with a whip of fire across the ocean.

The boatmen rise and fall upon the waves as morning takes its first breath,

and the boatmen sing.

Down below in wooden boxes they peer through wooden lines.
They breathe;  stretching cramped limbs as the cusp of  the morning  creeps through cracks,
and they pray.

The song is everywhere, echoing through the morning wind, diving into

The tumbling waves then spat out as salty spray that rises in a vapour

towards the sky.

The dead are everywhere, and buried deep in heaving arms, a brother, a child,
A too little. A Too late. They locked the gate and tried to save them; save them all.
Save themselves.

Clouds fall into the ocean and the afternoon melody becomes enclosed

within a circle of grey and white hazy mountains. A theatre of fog.

The song escapes.

A sound falls from lips as cracked as the pavements she fled from. A groan
that rocks the boat from the inside out, rising up, crashing against the roof.
Dripping like blood.

Caught amongst the flapping wings of the sea birds, the music takes flight

And it circles and hovers amongst the stickmen, floating on a

Streak of mist, facing heaven’s door.

Caught amongst barbed-wire fears, they surrender to a promise;  written
In another time, on a scrap of paper – with another language. Lost.
They surrender to the sea.

The boatmen weep and wave goodbye and the song becomes a hymn,

And the shrinking sun dips peacefully upon the sorry sea,

As the day dies and the boatmen sleep.

Soft Impression

I wrote this poem using a magnetic poetry set that I picked up from a charity (thrift) shop. I found the process of scattering random words across my writing bureau, and then carefully selecting the words that sparked my imagination both fun and challenging. Magnetic poetry  is a great way to think about words, to explore theme and to construct something meaningful out of word chaos. You could also do this by collecting interesting words from newspapers and magazines, or writing inspiring words on scraps of paper that you hear someone use on a bus, or in the supermarket line. Pop your words into a jar, adding sticky words such as and, it, or, as etc. and have fun.