Preserving Poetic Genius
This is not Milne’s Bar.
No snug-filled pub with poetic worthies.
No cardboard cut-out of castle silhouette
props up the horizon.
Don’t look for Rose Street ‘roses’ –
their rouged cheeks and pallid language
don’t feature here.
Nor does Lochinver ripple in folds of gneiss.
Suilven stands alone, out of sight.
Its lustrous air overset, overcome, by smoke
from working men, and work-less men
for this is elsewhere, buried in the dregs
of an industrial past.
How many fags? How many poems
preserved in nicotine, like flies in amber?
Whisky-flavoured, Assynt-tinted gems
drown in the formaldehyde of print.
Their reliquary leather-bound or card
but Tardis deep, untainted by time.
The man at the bar neither knows nor cares.
His claim to fame only
that he was the one to embalm
Weir spaghettis the space atween thaim,
fragrant wi the bree o freendship,
as muisic sypes intae ae lug each.
Thir heids keepin time, stirrin the air aroon thaim,
but hauns season thir collogue diffrently:
yin gestures lairge, chappin an sheavin
wi bold soopin muivements oamin as curry;
the ither is mair meisured, yerb-suttle
fingers flickin in scliffs finer nor skived pairmesan.
But sic differs dinnae maitter
when ye’re that muckle in tuin.
Copyright © Rowena M Love 2013
Rowena M Love is a much-published and prize-winning Scots poet, originally from Ayrshire but now living in Hertfordshire. She writes in both English and Scots. You can see more about her on her website: www.rowenamlove.co.uk. She is one of the Makar Press poets (www.makarpress.co.uk).