Colin Will is an established Edinburgh-born poet with a science background. He has chaired the Boards of the StAnza Poetry Festival and the Scottish Poetry Library. He is webmaster for Poetry Scotland. He lives in Dunbar, Scotland, and loves to travel. The Floorshow at the Mad Yak Café is his fifth poetry collection to be published, and it’s available from his publisher, Red Squirrel Press. He blogs as Sunny Dunny.
for W S Graham
If you’ve nothing better to do today
let’s swim in the malodorous waters
of the bay. Longshore drift
brings the biological flotsam in,
propels it in a wide arc past
Marazion point. A froth spit
spills vortices until the tide’s churn
intercuts water and solids.
Here dark shapes patrol the plankton.
Sinuous tails propel the lumpen sacks
of bodies, the hoover mouths that strain
solids from water.
There’s nothing White or Great
about these behemoths. Brownly they bask,
as barrels might bask, off the beach.
You and I, my whisky friend,
will doggy-paddle out to join them,
in our saggy woollen bathing suits,
distended crotches dragging
with the weight of seawater
and talent, caring nothing
for the fickle whims of taste
or the dorsal fins of critics.
I leave this at your ear for when you wake,
the shell I picked up last week from the beach.
You said you heard the long waves curl and break,
reminding you of times now out of reach.
I slip out of the room and close the door,
leaving your house as quietly as I came.
The parcels for the kids are on the floor –
just books, no toys, CDs or X-Box games.
I’ll walk into town and catch the early bus.
My flight’s at noon, so I’ll have lots of time.
I hate goodbyes, you know I can’t stand fussed
departures, tears we’d both regret, the pantomime
of hugs and hands stretched out for one last touch
where fingers fail but lips would be too much.
from The Floorshow at the Mad Yak Café (Red Squirrel Press)