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

Jack Russells : Celia Purcell


Two dogs are curled around their space,

sharing the same patchwork coat

and flicker of ear. They sleep, both

close to my father’s after dinner work

with a spade, his shadow over them.

Brothers making trouble mostly,

who know how to run and somersault

faster than their legs can carry,

who rummage noses far below ground –

get buried. Then shrill through yards

of soil, each barks like a Baskerville hound

to come up bleeding at the nose.

Now they lie quiet as if life began

here with this garden and will always be so,

small paws taut in anticipation

of my father’s spade hurling the earth.


Wildwood : Deborah Harvey


It’s time to leave this house

Glancing up as I cut the grass

I see three apples, green in leaves,

the first-ever crop on the tree I grew

from the seed of the final fruit

picked in my grandmother’s garden

I’ll watch them swell and ripen

take the pips with me when I go,

plant a tree that might not blossom

in the years that are left

There are millions of seeds in pots and jam jars,

spilling from mouths of paper bags

one for each minute of each day lost,

copses, forests, wildwood

falling through my fingers

I reach for the hands of my children, my sisters,

our dormant stories stir in earth

make for the light


Published in ‘Breadcrumbs’ (Indigo Dreams, 2016)

Oystercatchers : Deborah Harvey


One day

the day she’s been waiting for will come

and she’ll take these words with her to the sea

unzip her coat, pull open her ribcage

let them fly as purposely

as oystercatchers

pulling the strings of the sky

and tide

lifting the weight from each blood cell

giving her permission    


Published in ‘The Shadow Factory’ (Indigo Dreams, 2019)
Winner of the 2018 Plough Prize Short Poem Competition



Advice : Janice Dempsey


Stirring the porridge

I think of Miss Rymer’s grave.

She’s passed her century if she’s not in it.

I wish I’d written this,

she wrote on my homework.


Keep stirring, don’t stop,

my mother always warned.

Some advice, some praise

stays with you.

Keep stirring, or life goes lumpy,



How Night Was Made : Annie Wright

(after a line from Tales of the Warao, Orinoco Delta, Amazon)

An enormous sneeze was brewing;

the Lord of the Night shook out

his sky blue handkerchief

Aschooalotl, splotl, aschootl!


and dabbed tear-streaked eyes.

When he opened them

to his surprise

dark had escaped

covering the world in blackness.

Coyote howled, jaguar hissed,

all the birds fell to Mother Earth

for protection.

His people huddled shivering,

afraid a mighty beast

had swallowed the sun for ever.

The Lord of the Night

hung his head and wept.

Tears froze on his cheeks

and he knew what he must do.

He flung crystal tears     into emptiness

Somewhere far distant

glittering splinters of light

hang in the heavens, tiny fires

by which to navigate the night.

Cause of Death : Debasish Lahiri


I died of death

And never knew it,

And grew to be young

And died of it,

And grew to be wise

And died,

A bit,

Of that too.

But I shall not be old

Nor ever die of it.



When you took my hand

In winter

To tell me –

Through pore and vein,

Not words –

That summer exists always,

I felt under my shirt

For my heart

And damp clod clung to my fingers;

I was sad

And I was alive.

For once

I was certain

That I would not die of life.

Perhaps the full winter of death

Has come

With that secret saboteur summer,

That is ever in hiding

And never goes away.

I can die of summer.

But, this was supposed to be a poem of love,

That most secret cause of death.

Actors’ Aftermath : Celia Purcell


They mill in, a defunct Caliban and Ariel,

prop the bar and lean wearily

in our direction. “You were great,” I say,

“Were the false teeth anything

to do with that stutter, or was it

careful pronunciation?”

No-one lights up which is a pity

because such silence could kill lesser men.

“You’re a dope,” says Caliban

though I notice the paunch

and eyes strung out from footlights’ overdose.

Ariel is even thinner on the ground

but making headway through his Guinness

which he tells us improves a fairy’s lot

on having to sing etceteras of

“Where the bee sucks …”

More actors now and the air is thick

with cracks about agents

and Prospero’s farting at sea.

I mouth to Caliban again,

“What about those false teeth?”

and wish I hadn’t.

A whole Shakespearian bar is looking at me.

Gratefully received from Celia for our Big Lit 2020 Window Poems


JUST FOR TODAY : Shanta Acharya


Just for today I will not squander

my time on things of importance or of no importance.

Such decisions carry the illusion of grandeur,

of being the chosen one, placed in a position of power.

One thing leads to another, a sigh turns into a hurricane.

Years later you look back at lives not lived, times gone.

Just for this morning I will let everything be

as it is, knowing nothing in this world is just or true.

I’ll stop worrying about things I don’t have and what I do.

I will not hanker after eternity or God’s eye view.

Just for this hour I’ll fly free trusting my instincts,

let imagination steer, steadying me with wings.

Just for this moment I’ll be everything and nothing,

be one with the universe, let it open my eyes.

What Survives Is the Singing (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2020)

Crackington Haven : Ronnie Goodyer


The pebbles point fingers to the cliffs

whose contour faces lead to the sea.

Here in Gaia’s birthing pools we are lulled

by the song of silver-paper water,

a solo for many voices, patterned by tree-light,

scented by the green promise of East Wood.

We walk with shadows of Clare, Frost and Marlowe,

see through their eyes the cushioning moss trail

crushed to jeweled droplets by our thirsty boots

until we emerge blinking into new light,

surfacing with the wild goats whose trackways

lead uninitiated to the fierce fall of Cambeak.

We respect the treachery of wind-edged boulders

until the welcome harmony of sea and sand,

where the white breakers are cleaning the canvas

of footprints and paws, smoothing anew

for tomorrow’s paddlers and painters who are

waiting in anticipation and holiday sandals.

from Forest: moor or less (Indigo Dreams, April 2020)