BAKINGS

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

Ring : Pauline Prior-Pitt

 

Did Poseidon's mistress

cast this off after a tiff,

the weight of it sinking                                      

into their tangle bed,

tossed up in last night's storm

to lie half hidden

in a cluster of kelp?

This scoured shell, polished

to a knuckle-duster, is not

a circle for the third finger

of my left hand,

but I wear it anyway.

Then cast it back into the sea

in case she has regrets,

in case he asks for it,

in case a knuckle duster

on her finger

might make all the difference.

 

Song for a Former Slave : Jenny Mitchell

 

Her dress is made of music

humming through the hem

high notes in the seams.

A rousing hymn

adorns the bodice

with sheer lace.

The heart is stitched with loud amens

the back a curving shape

of hallelujahs.

She’s proud enough to hold

her own applause

tucked in a pleated waist.

The skirt sways freely

when she walks

to show there are no chains.

Her dress is made of music.

 

from Her Lost Language (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019)

There’s a Music : Adam Horovitz

 

Listen. There’s a music in your head

that is not some half-remembered bar

of radio confection. No ear-worm, this.

No broadcast soaked up by the soft

core of childhood. It sits among synapses

as a code of scars, a morse-mapped monument.

This music is made from the friction of living;

birdsong; the passage of light at a certain

time of day; the first touch of another’s skin;

that moment when everything seemed exact.

Built upon pain and plenty, this concentrated

sound is everything you know and understand

tuned up to ecstasy. Written and unwritten

in the key of hope. Yet it is not complete.

Now, having listened, you must sing a tender

approximation of the tune (as sweetly as you can)

until all the people who have helped it build

are drawn to you. Then you must dance.

 

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

 

أغنـيـة

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

وغنى

وغنى

غنى بعينيه

وبيديه

وبقلبه

لم يغن بفمه

كان صمته أبلغ أغنية

كانت حياته

رقصة موت

وأيامه

فراغاً هامساً.

 

Song

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