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. 

Beyond the Gates : Adam Horovitz


What we took from the garden

was love, for love is knowledge

and the knowledge of love

is a bitter seed in the belly of a bird.

       Expelled over new lands

the seed falls as love into the soil,

casts out slender roots to grow

and seed and grow again,

carried further and further

     from the garden

in unending chains of fruiting trees.

The trees hold the garden as memory

in a lover’s embrace, as the sun

is sucked by leaves, consumed

     in adoration and exchange.

And age becomes knowledge

becomes love as their trunks swell

over time into rings, and each ring

binds us to the garden because

     what we took from the garden

was love, and love was the garden

and it is the garden that keeps us

breathing each other in

here in the cold land beyond its gates

     as it pumps through our hearts

             like blood.

Song : Ghareeb Iskander



غنّى كلَّ شيء

غنى الأرصفة النائمة

والفجر الغريب

غنى روحه وجسده

حبيبته وأمه

غنى الملائكة والشياطين

غنى الربيع

الأزهار التي تنمو

من بعد ليل طويل

غنى الشوارع

لم يغن الجدران




غنى بعينيه



لم يغن بفمه

كان صمته أبلغ أغنية

كانت حياته

رقصة موت


فراغاً هامساً.



He sang the sum of things:

the drowsing pavement,

the unfamiliar dawn.                                   

He sang his soul and body.

His lover and his mother.

He sang angels, he sang devils.

He sang Springtime -

the flowers which open themselves                                                           

after a long night.

He sang the streets

but he wouldn’t sing the hindering walls.

He sang

and he sang

and sang.

He sang with his eyes

and with his hands.

He sang with his heart

but his mouth did no singing.

The richest of all his songs was silence.                        h

His life was

death’s little dance

and his days all

emptiness - a whispering void.           


Translated from the Arabic by John Glenday

Touch the lucky lead : Liz Niven


If only it was so easy

but fate's sealed the future.

No fortune's found

at a forefinger's touch;

the spot rubbed clean,

lead shining silver

on cold cave walls.

Transforming base materials,

it's what we all want;

lives altered to perfection overnight,

when really we work away silently,

long term.

Rubbing till we've fashioned

an existence into

something manageable.

Sometime striking gold.

Note: At Wanlockhead mining village, the miners would rub a patch on the wall at the entrance to the cave, in the hope that they would not be involved in an accident and that they might find precious metals.

The Word of Bernadette : Anna Crowe


That pretty, petulant face. I can still see her –

blue eyes, black curls flying – dancing round me

on the flagstones by those big, shady trees

in the school-yard, flicking questions at me

about England: a place I remembered as pale

and drab, back-gardens watered down with rain;

a polite sameness of brick, (and, somewhere, surely,

my new bike and roller-skates, left behind).

What did she ask me, and what did I say

that brought her to a shocked standstill?

It was wiped out by her cry: C’est un mensonge!

What is this word? I move closer, wanting

her to repeat it, and she flinches, thinks

I’m about to slap her but, Qu’est-ce que

ça veut dire? I ask (a useful phrase).

Poised for flight, she flings out, Que c’est pas vrai!

Accused of lying, I should be angry

but, mensonge, I murmur, mensonge;

testing those vowels that could slip,

become mon songe, though only if I say so.

I take my word to share with the unknown trees.

Note: un songe in French means ‘a dream’, and un mensonge is ‘a lie’