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

Covid Voices : Valerie Sinason


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 


The Apple’s Song : Edwin Morgan

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

   

 

 

Intruders : A C Clarke

 

To the bull nothing makes sense beyond

his wives, his children. And grass.

The grass changes. He doesn't know why.

The wives too at times. The children are there

and not there. He knows the smell of the byre,

of those who feed him. All else is mystery,

witness these strangers stumbling over tussocks

at the back of his herd. His warning bellow

didn’t stop them. He turns his great head

Turns back to the grass but can't settle.

Turns his head again. Wants things to stay as they are.

 

The Colour of Heather : Wynn Wheldon

 

I imagine you alone

with your enthusiasm

and your sturdy bag on the platform

wondering where the hell I am. 

The meagre northern light is fading

and it is getting cold.

The heat rises in my face.

There’s a knot of something

beneath my heart

like indigestion, but not.

I imagined you naked

but could not see myself so.

I feared your yes, I feared your no.

What colour is heather

in the lightless night?

 

Frog : Gina Mercer

 

Pool-dwelling, fresh-water selkie.

Sewn from scraps of leaf-bright silk.

Skin is permeable.

Devoid of tail, teeth, claws, spikes, and stings.

Swims at depths of vulnerability and ambiguity.

See: Poet.