SCOTS



All Water

Been thinking a lot about gills, how this flesh fringe can take in water and air, how you can catch a fish by tickling it under its belly wearing silk stockings on your hands. How you can hold a fish …

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Leave, Eriskay

I know the feeling of the grain farmer who packed up and left his smallholding: and not for the famine or the drought but for the light being always on his back. ‘The Work’ first appeared in Moontide, Hexham: Bloodaxe …

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The Work

If I have to, then let me be the whaler poet, launcher of the knife, portioning off the pink cut, salt trim and fat, tipping the larger waste off the side of the boat, and then to have the poem …

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Honeymoon

At the edge o a time, the tide n the licht begin tae tell thir sweir-drawn bye-the-nou thegither – the saft saund-slaikin-straikin, the sunslant stellin an oor in lamer, the ootrug gaan a bittie faurder ilka turn – awthegither: twa …

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Revelation

The heron has a dream of blindness. He starves, but it is beautiful; the feeling of the fishes brushing his legs. ‘Revelation’ first appeared in Locust and Marlin (Shearsman Books, 2014)

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Why I was so bad at clay-pigeon shooting

It was cold. It was raining. I was tired. I cried ‘Pull!’ and tightened, tried to follow the whirring discus to its apex, the point at which it would pause and begin its fall. My eye filled with dark mountain, …

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Piercings

It took two looks to see him – snapped head and loose jaw, silent moviewise. The boy who broke me in, my head, my skin, up, said ‘a break- down would do you good’. The change snuck him past me, …

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Thurs hunnurs a burds oan the roofs

here huw chouf wouf wee robin rid tit peejin breesty lovey dovey ruffle yur feathers show me yur plume look it that Frank nut a look nut a nut plod on then mouldy breed heed woop woop look it that …

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The Laws of the Game

No team may have more than seven players on the pitch and each must believe that their heels are aflame, that the bounce of the ball is merciless, that the field is wide open before it’s closed by the lung-crunching …

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Dressing Fleas

If we do not mass produce products, we vie with one another in the difficult, exquisite and useless art of dressing fleas Octavio Paz Mr and Mrs Flea are dressed up and ready for the celebrations. He sports a neatly …

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Sadness

The sadness inside him went deep. The vast distance between every nucleus and every electron in his body was a well that could never be filled Beauty entered and was lost. Wonder entered and was lost. People were drawn to …

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Bad Moon

The moon must be sick of being in poems – always gripped by fingers of late honeysuckle, always filtered in the lake through the jetty’s slats, always silvering the flicked tails of the koi. Always a dinner plate or mirror, …

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