MacKerral, that was one hard winter.
Your father died on the moor road,
his bag of meal buried under snows.
Death relieved him of his load.
A company of mountains, an upthrust of mountains,
a great garth of growing mountains,
a concourse of summits, of knolls, of hills
coming on with a fearsome roaring.
I say her phrases to myself
in my head
or under the shallows of my breath,
restful shapes moving.
The day and ever. The day and ever.
When I was eight, I was forced south. Not long after, when I opened my mouth, a strange thing happened. I lost my Scottish accent. Words fell off my tongue: eedyit, dreich, wabbit, crabbit stummer, teuchter, heidbanger, so you are, so am ur, see you, see ma ma, shut yer geggie or I’ll gie you […]
Fae stooshie tae fankle tae bouroch tae dreck / we’re steeped in the downpour of dialect.
A bloody good hiding
/ Another egg chipped
Revising my visa essay,
applying for three more years
here, I read my own scribbled words
Now, perched on this polar height
When all sap lies quiet and does not climb,
When all seems dead, I cultivate
The wild garden rioting in my memory
September 1st, 1939.
/ Cicalas burst the air, a heat-haze quivers
/ on the pale plain, the glittering…
They have come
/ to scald our blood, to call us out
/ from our bright houses to the twisted shadows under trees.
/ Let us…
The words first appeared on a lamp post
/ on a dirty road between a chip shop
/ and some tired Turkish…