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.
23rd July A bee flies under thin weave of grass where she lies flat, 15. It disturbs the spiny seedheads and flies on. It seems so purposeful.
tall sky duck-egg blue scud cloud winds easing
30th July The dog sleeps dreamless by the garden pond. The life of frogs is full of luck. She peers below the marigolds, uncovers a dim paradise of beetles.
long sky arsenic green with mottled cirrus humid
7th August Chicken shit and lichens dot dry concrete flags. Self-seeded into the cracks, the tender leaves of columbines. She paints her toenails carefully above the dust.
bowl sky Palnackie blue cloudless hot
19th August Lawn grass too long uncut is bent, bead-spangled. A droplet quivers at a tractor gone burring up the brae - and then it stills. There’s no reason to wait around.
cranefly sky hammered silver high altitude nimbus no wind
23rd August The baler’s stuttered rap loses ground to the tow of a warm front spooling out of the Atlantic. She goes back to watching a red kite turn like a thought on a thermal, before storms. galvanised sky loss-grey mares’ tails heavy rain
Dot was safeguarded at home Each morning her bruises opened Like purple flowe
People have always Washed their hands of her
This is the way we wash our hands Wash our hands, wash our hands
“Poor little Corona virus,” Explained the tired mother, Wiping her raw scrubbed hands, “He’s only looking for friends to join But they don’t want him”
“Just like me” says the child, “Can I play with him?”
Jayden kissed his knife goodbye Admired his face on its Polished steel He had a better weapon now Easier to use and easy to kill
Put the knife back in the kitchen drawer Goodbye to blood and DNA Just a little cough, a little lethal cough No Old Bill to frisk it away
Alf joked he’d bagged A top university bird Because she had a PPE
Social Distancing Self-Isolation He loved his new vocabulary (Much snappier, he thought, Than P and F and C)
Joe swaggered Down the middle of the road Pummelling his thin chest Like a miniature Tarzan
Slow cars weaved fearfully around him
“Go Jo”, shouts Tequila Tamsin “You’re King of the Road”
Ed jumped Trace in the kitchen “Now I’m shielding you” He jangled the door keys “Can’t wait for lockdown! What about a baby girl called Quarantina?,”
Coughing Colin One foot in the coffin Has never felt such joy
Wherever he goes People disappear
“I wish I’d had this as a boy”
Clap hands for Mummy Talk to her on the phone She’s looking after Nanna In the old age home
Glorious Gabby The selfie queen Turns on the camera In order to be seen
“I am no body” She cries to the condomised computer “I am nobody”
“You said I could only have my tablet For one hour a day And now you want me to do school on it all day” Grumbled Ali
At midnight Our Covid Cinderella Walks to her hospital shift It is no ball She lacks a mask and gown
Mara the cleaner Scrubs the Care Home floors Sticky old crumbs of cake and jelly
Around her Elegant politicians soft-soaping their words from the widescreen telly
Moira claps for the NHS Each time she has her bath “They helped me when I Got the clap”, She laughs
How orphaned the country feels How desolate it has been Needing the brave over-90’s Captain Tom, Attenborough and the Queen
This is the way the world ends My love and I with a boiled egg and slice of toast And Waitrose unable to provide deliveries And the earth and sea and sun and stars And all the creatures therein Just carrying on effortlessly Without us
April 27, 2020 would have been Edwin Morgan’s 100th Birthday. The Bakehouse celebrates his Centenary with one of his poems and a message from his friend Liz Lochhead - Makar, or National Poet of Scotland between 2011 and 2016.
‘The best thing about being a writer,’ says Liz, ‘is you can be anybody apart from yourself – anything apart from yourself. You can give anything you like a voice all of its own. If you are willing - as he was always - to let your imagination really listen deep. And to play… ‘The Apple’s Song' is one of my favourite of Eddie’s poems’
Tap me with your finger,
rub me with your sleeve,
hold me, sniff me, peel me
curling round and round
till I burst out white and cold
from my tight red coat
and tingle in your palm
as if I’d melt and breathe
a living pomander
waiting for the moment
of joy when you lift me
to your mouth and crush me
and in taste and fragrance
I race through your head
in my dizzy dissolve.
I sit in the bowl
in my cool corner
and watch you as you pass
smoothing your apron.
Are you thirsty yet?
My eyes are shining.
Much more along with full details of what is planned for his centenary year can be found on the Edwin Morgan Trust website: edwinmorgantrust.com