Monday, 21 March 2011


Two score and six
of my three score and ten,
sat on a rock outcrop
in an empty field,
a finger round
and round the markings.
Below they bury people still
in a woodland graveyard,
it's church
has been
and gone,
but the lapwings in the field
don't seem to care
and carry on as if
the dykes were not there.

What was three score years and ten
to those above the empty woods?
when antler and flint
worked round
and round the markings,
and startled lapwings
on the open hill.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Old and new poets

A little Norman MacCaig for you -

Old Poet

The alder tree
shrivelled by the salt wind
has lived so long
it has carried and sheltered
it's own weight
of nests.

There's a curious significance in that piece as the book I snaffled it from has his poems published in chronological order and this is his first poem from 1965. Therefore is was probably written within a few days of my birth in one direction or the other. With that in mind, I have taken the following liberty.

New Poet

The alder sapling,
pushed gently by the breeze.
Soft green leaves,
barely uncurled,
are unaware of the coming years
or the weight
of nests.