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Fife Writes

Blog posts : "National Poetry Day 2023"

Lesley Walker - Small prayers

Small prayers
Earth lies heavy, compressed, depressed, comatose under concrete
    as the city sweats a fever dream of glass and steel
        and pavements fry in stark white glare.
    Thermals of greenhouse gases rise silently, unseen.
        A lonely tree stands wilting…

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Rodger Knight - Autumn's return

Autumn's return
With summers departure, autumn begins to spread its melancholic pageantry, which is now more pronounced and ubiquitous.
Vivid reds and ambers appear, transforming the landscape and my outlook, as though preparing me for the coming chill of winter, which I know will envelo…

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George McDermid -When Glasgow became Edinburgh

When Glasgow became Edinburgh

I lost you
sometime when Glasgow became Edinburgh,
when work flowed fast and furious
and I ended up crumpled and sick,
battered by swirling eddies,
when music turned
to a monotonous

I lost you
at that time when the skies no longer dazzled,

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Pat Colville - The Sleekit wee Word

The Sleekit wee Word  

The one that almost got away. That word.
Where’s it gone? You know the word.
What’s it called? I can’t remember,
but give me a minute or maybe a day.
and I’ll have it. You know the thingamajig.

The thingamajig is making my thumb stound.
or throb as my moth…

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Linda Menzies - Abbot House

Abbot House

Tam heard it in daylight hours:
Feet away, people chatted in sunshine,
Stopped on the worn cobbles.

Whistling, he worked on a board,
Replaced many times since the Great Fire, 
But once more loose with age.

It was just faint creak at first,
Subtle, a whisper. Then he briske…

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Linda Menzies - Red Barns, Illinois

Red Barns, Illinois

They dot the landscape
Squat behind corn stalks,
Their window eyes alert. 

The early farmers used rust
to seal the barn boards.
Iron swirled the mixture red, 
pleasing, familiar beacons
in flat, green landscapes.
Such practical people.

Being sensible, we should …

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Bill Devlin - After the High Winds

After the High Winds

Sap spikes and spider veils
Field mice nudge at bevelled
Beetles’ shells like limousines
Silver trails trace spherical snails
And last night’s winds are ghost quelled.
Birds sense respite, the forest leans  
A shopping-trolley’s wire-frame 
Refracts the flight…

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Roger Knight - Seeking Solace

Seeking solace

Is there an algorithm or application I can draw on when my health is failing me and fear and despair take hold ?
Resorting to the Stoics might be preferable, their ancient wisdom that still resonates and assuages, or latching on to some enduring line from Larkin, Eliot or Borges t…

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Denise Chapman - The Tempest

The Tempest by Denise Chapman

Shelter me from the storm
Provide a barrier to the deluge that ensues
Protect me from the harm
That this torrent in its path accrues.

Cease the battle, end the war,
Stop the conflict in its tracks.
Restore the peace, embrace the calm
When reason hides and th…

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Susan Grant - MIGRANTS


Driven by winter circumstances
from their homelands
a flight of fieldfares 
comes for sanctuary
to this Scottish shore.

Glorious orange berries 
tantalising, plentiful, still
cluster on sea buckthorn
in early February.
Encouraged, waxwings
and snow buntings
join in the fea…

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Susan Grant - REFUGEES


They come to us for help,
arms outstretched with their plea,
heartfelt through to their fingertips.

They do not know our language
or they would know what they feel is hope...
hope that throbs through their very being.

They seek sanctuary from suppression;
safety from starvatio…

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George White - I wull keep oan loving.

I wull keep oan loving.

Aye…..but I wull keep oan loving
the ugliness and the cruelty…
ah ken wull keep oan coming
but I wull keep oan loving….
and the weak wull suffer
as they aye hiv suffered
but I wull keep oan loving…
and men wull lie and cheat
as they alwies hiv
tae win so…

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George White - Anither shore

Anither shore

I see anither shore as yet unkent
and yet anither hinterland tae wander
and traivel it I wull…..expecting little
Aye….but that wull be enough tae satisfy my wants
fur they are fewer than afore….
afore….when aw things war possible
Sae I must mak mysel ready
for the tas…

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Jean Wright - The Ousted Socialite

The Ousted Socialite

She lay in the darkness
despairing of life and the living,
The dying embers of confidence
no longer giving
her sustenance, fiery courage
burned and wasted,
falling to ash without her entourage,
She had once tasted
Champagne and oysters,
Her heady laughter had sparkle…

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Roger Knight - Consolations that count

Consolations that count

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 

Max Ehrmann 1927

You have to slow right down to basic everyday activity and being to identify and appreciate them.
The way we seize each new day, no matter how mundane, can be an oppor…

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Roger Knight - The inestimable value of gazofilacio

The inestimable value of gazofilacio
[ the treasure chamber of the mind and where we store our memorised poetry.]

It would be rare if this book did not contain one single line worthy of staying with you to the end.  Introduction to Jorge Luis Borges selected poems.

When we first read or hear…

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Ian Ledward - The Bothy

The Bothy

‘Cut doors and windows for a room;
it is the holes that make it useful.
Therefore, profit comes from what is there;
usefulness from what is not there.’

Tao Te Ching verse 11. Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.


Ancient stones, and here, I can smell their age

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Blair H Smith - No Excuse Now

No Excuse Now

the pain when the penny dropped for the first time;
the dawn when it dropped for the last;
and the time in between 
when I thought this would mean
that the years of his shadow were past!

the print of his thumbs on my limbs
still throbs.  And it throbs
to the …

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Orla Beaton - The Nights are Fair Drawing In

The Nights are Fair Drawing In

There is a quickening at this time of year.
The drip, drip, drip of the black
catches up on us until
suddenly we gasp
"The nights are fair drawing in".
It's time for a change of gear.
Tomorrow the hours of light and dark
will be equal and
this is a sign, a r…

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