A summer evening,
a rubber ball
thumped against a harled
1950s gable wall,
– and pitched between
chant and song,
our lasses’ rhyme: … plainy, clappy,
roll-a-pin – as we practised
birling round so quick
we caught the same ball
bingo! on its rebound – attuned
to its arc and Earth’s spin
as the gloaming deepened,
and one by one, we were called in.
Here comes the sun
summiting the headland – pow!
straight through the windows of the 10.19
– and here’s us passengers,
splendid and blinking
like we’re all reborn,
remade exactly, and just where we left off:
the students, the toddler, the tattoo’d lass,
the half-dozen roustabouts
cracking more beers and more jokes …
Angus at midwinter
or near as makes no odds –
faint shadows stretched over fields of dour earth,
every fairmer’s fenceposts teased with gold.
Nana you are not there, no’
hale in body behind the black door but
here I come coiling up the stair wi the paper
poke of ju’jubes and the Beezer you sent me for. Two landings
first then yours. I dart whippit-quick
past the toilet at the turn
in case there’s an auld
bogeyman hiding. Stone
gassy smell and though it’s twenty odd
years since the war, naeb’dy’s
bothered to scrape the black-out paint
off the stairhead window. Oh this was a bleak land then.
Nana will you not be there
in the room and kitchen?
Here is my wean’s fingernail, scratching a peephole to keek through.