Bakings is The Bakehouse’s new online literary magazine – poems submitted by invitation alongside recordings of featured poets from previous Bakehouse events. Trawl through the site to find fine poetry from Scotland and beyond alongside film poems and illustrations.  Items are in the order of most recent first, or use our index to see a list of items arranged alphabetically by author.
Alphabetical Index by Author


He mentions how he loves to walk
under an umbrella in the rain, how its drumming
gives him so much pleasure; he doesn't get the irony –
how much she yearns for this, and the beating
of a downpour on her night-time window pane.
The bloody useless fusing of the tiny bones
in her middle ear: malleus, incus, stapes. 

Tomorrow: she'll walk along the water's edge
towards the mouth of the German blockhaus, 
imagine the bay they watched in the war,
catalogue her vision, plunder her sound bank
to recall waves shushing on the shore, racket
of children shrieking, splashing, the pock pock
of that couple with bat and ball. Remember,

and record it all. 


working from the first line ‘I lived in those times’ from Epitaph by Robert Desnos

We lived in those times of grants and fees paid
we ordinary girls from poor backgrounds;
post-war optimism, the baby-boomers;
we National-Healthy girls who went
to new and red-brick universities,
each outnumbered five to one by men.
                  And we weren’t grateful.
And lots of us made our own clothes:
psychedelic mini-skirts, velvet loons.

We lived in those times of student revolution,
a girl on our corridor hanged herself one morning –
after her year in France, the Paris riots –
while we were sitting in The Great Hall,
storming the Administration, colonising
the Vice-Chancellor’s office – that time of
free discos, walks back to digs at daybreak,
threats that we’d all be sent down.

How lucky we were and we didn’t know it,
plenty of jobs, cheap flats, no loans, no debt
to hang round our middle-aged necks.
We dinosaurs.


Like a shot, I’d accept that vassalage
that in days gone by could firmly knit
lover to mistress, perform sweet homage
on bended knee. To please, I’d submit
and be meek. No prob. I’d gladly do the chores,
follow your orders to the letter and show
the world – including me mates – that yours
is the word I must obey; bestow
it like a gift. I’d study ways of moving
you to look with firm yet kindly aspect
on the pain I’d suffer in my loving,
and not give a toss about self-respect.

We moderns think such bargains cannot be,
but desire would make a willing slave of me.


Farewell, my one and only villanelle,
your words mean more to me than I can say.
Though our paths must part, yet I love you well.

Your first draft lacked some facts I didn’t tell.
Once you knew all you could go your own way.
Farewell, my one and only villanelle,

you understand the reasons that compel
me now to stand and watch you drift away.
Though our paths must part, yet I love you well.

And since this final version’s where I spell
out truths I used to shy from in dismay,
it means farewell, my only villanelle.

I won’t moralise about the past or dwell
on hopes and wishes or regrets this day,
for our paths must part, though I love you well

and trust that other readers’ breath will swell
your words and let your lilting rhythms play.


(After a rerun of The Mummy at the Odeon Luxe.) 

Accidently mistaking our Oxfam Book of the Dead, for Mary Berry’s Baking Bible,
seeking a recipe for sandwich cake, I woke everything,
created Hamunaptra here in my little cul-de-sac.

Perhaps foolishly I had fixed new handles to the kitchen cupboards,
a job lot from TK Maax, that bazaar of delights.
Long screws, double washers and nuts. A bargain.

But those handles are golden scarabs from Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen,
king of kitsch, keeper of the book of high fashion, a warning I ignored;
these clockwork confections have started scuttling.

I attach one to the breadbin and instantly regret. 
It has taken possession and no crumb is safe;
it must roll its ball of dung, its roll of wholemeal sliced.

It was the usual passion at the local Odeon, Art Deco Egyptian picture palace,
pith helmets and jodhpurs, fez and fern, curse and coca cola,
Imhotep laid screaming in a coffin; sacred scarabs poured over him.

Imhotep mummified alive for defiling the concubine’s oiled back;
‘Anck-su-namun,’ he breathed as he caressed her, behind a veil of silk,
the runes trickling up and down her painted body, daring him to smear them.

Think of that when you are reaching for the vinegar
or hoping to make a cheese sandwich at midnight.

Each scarab head an arc, six rays,
beautiful jaws designed to dig and shape 
vestigial claw-like structures, gnawing Imhotep to the bone.

After the unsuccessful attempt to lull them with interpretive dance and a packet of dates
left over from Christmas, Gordon succumbs happily to a skeletal existence.

Imhotep, regenerated nicely on human flesh, knows how to wear a loincloth;
wooed me with Weetos on the patio, built me a small pyramid by the garden shed.

The scarabs have set up base in an old sand pit by the palm tree,
Gordon found the sarcophagus of Anck-su-namun at the local museum; 
they are happy together translating hieroglyphs and plotting mutual tissue growth.

Our dog has the eyes of Anubis and is high priest of all kitchen cabinets,
munches on scarabs to keep them down. They worship him as a god.



The Mummy was a movie made in 1999 starring Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep and Patricia Velasqez as Anck-su-namun
Hamunaptra was a fictional Egyptian city
Imhotep was a high priest


When they say Craigantlet Hill I smell crushed grass
where we lay together, hidden from the road below,
our bikes thrown down in a tangle.
You wore a musty greatcoat like a highwayman,
with brass buttons and moth holes;
I was in oyster satin evening gloves and a jellyfish pink ballgown
from Renee Meneelly, reeking of your mum’s ‘Je Reviens’,
I had a passing thought about the maths homework 
I hadn’t done yet.
You said, ‘should we try kissing like they did in that Romeo and Juliet film?’
I said nothing because you had squashed your marshmallow lips against mine
and I bit my tongue,
I tasted blood and the bitterness of tayto cheese and onion,
your breath rattly as sycamore keys
We tried arms but they were stiff, so I just patted your back.
You took my hand and said, ‘do you feel anything’?
I said ‘no’ but inside I felt weird and decadent and guilty and giddy;
I wanted your coat so badly for my very own and black boots and a whip
and a tricorn hat and horse with a white blaze.
As we packed up, I wondered what it would be like to kiss a boy 
in a greatcoat, perhaps with an earring and a gold tooth.
That time I rang you I casually happened to mention 
‘what happened to all those old things’?
You said your mother threw them away the day after Craigantlet,
‘clothes just get dozed’ she said. 
Grass stains. She couldn’t understand the grass stains.
I still think about the 36 buttons on that coat.


Tell them   the way noises of backyards
are fires you cannot put out      the noises
of bombardments     shrapnel      sharp loud voices

scratching the night.   You don’t know where fires
will light up   the heavy black sounds    exploding.

You end up where you began
in a shelter where you can’t sleep     war thuds

electric pathways      students coming home 3 am
a barbed wire trail of screams.

Silence has never felt so distant

the preservation of night     in the war the night
was full of alarms.     Patrols of students 

in drunken lurches up the street     it hits you in the midriff of sleep.

And jubilation
will descend in the midnight hours
thud thud thud
                                 of drums
                                                     like Ack Ack guns. 

You sit in tense attitudes
as if waiting for the blow. You pick up the phone.

Police. You wait for sudden quiet
like the sound of the All Clear.    Your heart over-beats    listens in a shell. 

Insistent repetitive music    the whoops    tribal ribald chants

as if they need to bellow
as if they are beasts rounded up by prods of doubt and alcohol.

Paths sweat with leaves
                                          and empty packets of this and that.


Don’t cry
for these homes and backyards
                                                       the lawn you kept mowing
in the wilderness      they’re already dead 
                                                                    with no heartbeat or breath.


The gorse looks winter dead. On the hillside jagged bushes.
My friend is searching their carcases. They never stop flowering, 

there is always a flower in winter. The bushes denied this,

rank on rank of ragged prickles. Gorse is favoured by fairies
you insist. Look! High up one yellow bud like a tiny buoy

on a murky sea marking the flowering. Through wires

and antennae a thread of sap. The bush keeps one bud alight 
like a shrug of the exhausted mother or the eyelids

of Gordon Hodgeon blinking his poetry to nurses.
The gorse looks winter dead. Inside his head the poems hid.

They never stopped flowering. The bush keeps alight one bud.

We were walking in our lockdown, the year of remote living like
a blight of aloneness. Allusions rise up to greet me, vanish

as quickly as the fairies. I welcome the brambles, thickets

and thistles clasping my coat, the jagged gorse no one could
push through, evidence of resistance, impervious, flowering.

Shipping : Des Dillon

Snug, I lie in night listening to the shipping 

forecast bolting the doors of fortress Britain.

South Utsire rising to Gale Force nightmare,

nightwear, sleigh wear, blizzard over Finisterre.

Rockall me off to sleep deep low Hebrides.

Sleet and snow, nowhere to go except slide 

down the voice of the night announcer

and castaway the ropes of wakefulness


one by one so that, by his words my bed floats

in the hiss and boom of a terrible sea

where refugees hang on for morning, 

over a cascading fall to their peril,

praying for light and gulls flying over

Malin in a welcome racket of white

Daily Bread : Des Dillon

He fried eleven fish, fed us and said 

Eat, I’ve knocked my fuckin pan in for this.

But my altar boy ears heard

Take this all of you 

and eat it. This is my body 

which will be given up for you daily

in white hot steelworks and wet construction sites.

His hands drove nails through the toughest timbers.

His sides bled sweat and blistered vinegar.


Yet, throughout the last days, we had him wear 

a crown of thorns because he drank cheap wine 

day and night to escape our spears and slings

over things that went not quite right for us.

Thankless children, muscle work, alcohol and blame?

The end was always going to be the same.

Eggshells and fontanelles : Finola Scott

I bring eggs from the farm
in brown paper bag,
no protection at all.
Free range they're stuck 
with fluff feathers.

Pale as thick cream, so tiny.
My palm reaches to stroke
newborn curves.
Thin strongboxes
cradle ripening treasure.

With sharp taps of spoons
my wee ones scoop past
membranes to silky whites 
sun bright yolks.
Bantie gifts.

Published in Atrium  Spring  2020