Roddy Scott

Another Night Shift

The subtle switchblade of tender love opens
and in its loosing of red, ripened fruit
delights the smile to see.

Far away the twelfth bell strikes a dull note of accord
the clock tower stretches out tired hands, settles
for a night by the fire, pipe in hand and a good book,
‘Mars rising, Venus reclines,’
the shift is about to begin.

An owl hoots, the kill only a soft wingbeat away.

Copyright © Roddy Scott 2016

I am a busy  family guy who writes when he can. I’m a guitarist and songwriter also.
I’ve been published in ‘Outloud,’ an anthology of performance poets, (AD2000) whilst resident in Hong Kong for 8 years. I’m a member of SAW (Scottish Assoc. Writers) attend Word Play, a writer’s group with Marc Sherland at the Tron Theatre Glasgow on Fridays. We work towards monthly performance pieces. I’ve been writing steadily since I attended a writers’ group for the first time in Paisley Central library, 1985.

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Judith Taylor

Blue hat elegy
(for Elizabeth)

My blue hat
was left on a train to Glasgow
and never made it home, poor thing.
I loved that hat

though my boyfriend used to laugh at it
and a friendly goat
tried to nibble its brim once.

Your blue hat with the silk flowers
may not have changed at Waverley
going south: you didn’t remember.

You missed it first in Nottingham,
repacking for the airport
and it never saw the Alhambra.

Maybe it tells its lost hopes
in Millinery Limbo
to my blue hat, which recounts in turn
its wanderings in the Highlands

and they tilt together and tsk-tsk
at the carelessness of humans
who leave their good things behind.

Judith Taylor is based in Aberdeen and is the author of two pamphlet collections, Earthlight (Koo Press, 2006) and Local Colour (Calder Wood Press, 2010).

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Stuart A. Paterson: two poems


On my heavy-legged way back from
flames, coffee, poems at Rankine’s Bay
the fading world surprises me
with one last flare erupting
goldenly over Torrs Hill.
I’d stamped the fire, scattered
still-burning logs onto cold rocks,
was careful, considerate, didn’t
want the possibility of complaints
by southmouthed weekend residents
afeared of caravans a mile distant
going up in smoke. And there,
atop those tenuous pitches,
something worse; a sky of ready
embers on the verge of spilling over
onto roads already glowing a long
way back to months of Sundays
sunk in front of tellies, drawn curtains,
each other.

Tam O’Shanter Inn, May 2016

Chico’s the size of a favela rat, sleek
as a racing snake. Don’t be fooled by his
tabletop antics, his one-take poses on
Kapoks of barstool, his acquired
resemblance to a pre-midnight Gremlin.
Chico has run with the old pack,
goes way way back to when dogs got things done,
ran loose in ordered roles, tackled
jaguars, anacondas, had endless
loyal fettle. Even now, a part of him
sits watchfully on the bottom step
of great Quetzalcoatl’s temple,
ready to repel invading hordes
of pagan neighbours, slice through
the jangling armour of Conquistadors.
He’ll settle for a biscuit, tickled lugs,
the hoppy fug of long-tamed men who
feed him cheese & onion crisps in pubs.
And while we’re sinking deeper in our beers
Chico sleeps & dreams of nothing less
than seeing off those spectacled fucking bears.

Copyright © Stuart A. Paterson 2016

Stuart’s 2015 collection of poems on Dumfries & Galloway, ‘Border Lines’ (Indigo Dreams), won the Best Poetry Pamphlet award at the 2016 Saboteur Awards in London. His first collection of poetry in Scots, ‘Aye’, was published by Tapsalteerie in June 2016. He lives by the Solway coast in Galloway.

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Anthony Mott

Conversations with my mother 11

In plain sight
At the end of days
Lies in wait
The melted chill
Of sodden ground.
The elderly limp toward
They are blessed,
I remember
I don’t remember
I need to remember
I can’t remember
No dignity held
Only the threat of
Fading language
Clamped memories
Occasional sparks
The years…disengaged
Battery bright,
Then faded
But always and forever
Dimmed electricity
Of the dis-enfranchised
And abandoned

Copyright © Anthony Mott 2016

I am an unpublished  57 year old manager in an FE college with a love of language, cats and Sabrina.

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Hamish Scott – Four short poems

A deid-bell caas

The graffsum lown the quatit waes
The mirkie licht the murnin claes
The dowie smirr the tears that faas
Sum ither warld a deid-bell caas

The dowie days

Aa thing is lanesum, droukit, cauld,
aa thing is thowless, hertless, auld,
aa thing is licht i sinnrie grays,
for aa maun thole the dowie days


Lown is niver absent,
here aye;
thare for ilka bodie,
aa wey


A guid while syne yer reekin wis yer deid
A beuk o yers A hae is still reek-rife
That smeekie that it’s like as ye ir here
The reekin kilt ye than nou gies ye life

Copyright © Hamish Scott 2016

Hamish Scott writes poetry and prose in Scots and English. His poems in Scots are available in collections from The Laverock’s Nest Press –

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Harrison Abbott

How each life shall burst
Tumbling on the lie, the vanity.
How they squabble for words
With dripping chins exhausted.
How to fellow each the lights
Resembling ore by glittering;
The myriad simmering
Out on the hill plains;
No boy, hush your moods.
How would we cry so loudly,
Spread as a wingspan for history?
Yes, the blood, blue to red
Made sediment your tawny minds.
But healed they are now, the scars,
Quintessential delve of art,
Just taper it then, to set its fury.
There are no finer dreamers,
No better remonstrance
For health and warmth and tundra.

Copyright © Harrison Abbott 2016

I study in Aberdeen and regularly write poetical and prose works, many of which are included on my tumblr page:

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J M Brown

Unrepentant smoker.

Watchful, he scorned the world
marijuana fumes drifting
through a sliver of opened window.

He scoured the news,
his critical eye cross-referencing
the cynical politics of people.

He remained a dis-enchanted worker,
never took the shilling,
didn’t believe the guff and  bluster
of our glorious leaders.

The world had gone to hell
and so he though, would he.
He died aged 71, skinny as a spliff.

Copyright © J.M.Brown 2016

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