Douglas Lipton: Scottish Poet
Link to home page Link to biography page Link to diary of events Links Link to poetry
ONLINE POETRY    
   
 

Scottish Black Face Sheep

See this auld coat?
- It's effin' boggin'.
Goany gie's a haun aff wi' it
an' Ah'll mebbe tak it tae the cleanurs.
Pure new wool?
Whae's kiddin' whae?

- from 'The Flora and Fauna of an Independent Scotland' - first published in 'The Day I Met the Queen Mother - New Writing Scotland 8' - edited by Hamish Whyte and Janice Galloway, ASLS, Aberdeen, 1990.

Roofbeam

There is an angel
lying broken on a roofbeam -
an angel lying broken on a roofbeam
and all around the earth is flesh and blood.

There is a young girl
with a baby in her belly.
There is a young girl
with a baby in her belly
and all around the earth is flesh and blood.

There is a wing-covert
burning brightly in a pylon -
a wing-covert burning brightly in a pylon.

A face staring
from a furrow on a hillside -
a face staring, from a furrow on a hillside.

In the bottom of a bottle -
an angel's claw
caught and broken in the bottom of a bottle.

There is a young girl
crying crouched among some sacking -
a young girl crying crouched among some sacking
and all around the earth is flesh and blood.

- from 'Songs for the Falling Angel - a requiem for Lockerbie' - first published by the Edinburgh International Festival, 1991.

 
 

Arabian Ostrich

It took a second deluge
to flush me out.
I was on the spot
for Noah's flood.
On the spot
and first on board.
Not exactly a fowl of the air,
but you know what I mean.

The second flood
(abetted by the other side)
succeeded.
It was in the atmosphere.
I had useful nostrils.
Cars, guns and no ark.
God knows,
I searched high and low
for the old fellow.
Hardly a trace.
No mounds of sawdust
and shavings.
No ruts in the ground.
Only an amalgam
of bolts and links
like ballast jetsam.
Nothing more than archaeology.

It was clear that the old
boat-builder had bailed
himself out years ago,
shot the crow, and put the yard
under care-and-maintenance.

I drowned easily enough.
It was for the best.
Things in this world
happen too quickly
for the likes of me -
antediluvian.

- from 'Dead Birds'/'Last FLights'

Mondhliath

The chances in all this wilderness
of my boot crushing your cowering,
camouflaged foot, little leveret,
were not remote enough to save you.
Not even on a track, in this tract,
I tramped on your paw. You cried
and cried and cried, and, before I knew,
the dog had you in her jaws
(she had not caught a squawking grouse
all day) and broke your head.
You'll not know this part,
but she toyed with you,
and with the idea of eating you,
but finally spurned the morsel
you represented of skin
and silent bone - small fry. We left you
for the flies or (I rather hoped -
to give you grace) the ravens,
the dog having lost interest already
in the whiff and tang of your baby blood,
myself mightily relieved
that she had finished for me
the unconscionable job.

 
Site design by CSS Web Design    
Email link to Douglas Lipton