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)
Like This by Diana Pooley (Salt Modern Poets) Through the Square Window by Sinead Morrissey (Carcanet Press) Undraining Sea by Vahni Capildeo (Egg Box Publishing) Chronic by D A Powell (Graywolf Press) Fort Red Border by Kiki Petrosino (Sarabande Books) Taste of Cherry by Kara Candito (University of Nebraska Press)
Rain by Don Paterson (Faber & Faber) Suit of Lights by Damian Walford Davies (Seren Books) A Century of Poetry Review, edited by Fiona Sampson
Orphaned Latitudes by Gérard Rudolf (Red Squirrel Press) How To Build a City by Tom Chivers (Salt Modern Poets) Undraining Sea by Vahni Capildeo (Egg Box Publishing)
Caligula on Ice and Other Poems by Tim Turnbull (Donut Press) The Song of Lunch by Christopher Reid (CB Editions) How To Build a City by Tom Chivers (Salt Modern Poets)
Music’s Duel: New and Selected Poems by Gavin Selerie
(Shearsman Books) Conversation with Murasaki by Tom Lowenstein (Shearsman Books) Practical Water by Brenda Hillman (Wesleyan Press)
The Clockwork Gift by Claire Crowther (Shearsman Books) The Ambulance Box by Andrew Philip (Salt Modern Poets) A Scattering by Christopher Reid (Areté Books)
instead of stars by Amy Key (tall-lighthouse) The Borrowed Notebook by Chris McCabe (Landfill Press) Frankie, Alfredo, by Liane Strauss (Donut Press)
Cradle Song by Stacey Lynn Brown (C&R Press) Packing Light: New & Selected Poems by Marilyn Kallet
(Black Widow Press) War Dances by Sherman Alexie (Grove Press) Petals of Zero Petals of One by Adam Zawacki (Talisman House)
Rob A. Mackenzie
Third Wish Wasted by Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe Books) The Ambulance Box by Andrew Philip (Salt Modern Poets) Rays by Richard Price (Carcanet Press)
Bird Head Son by Anthony Joseph (Salt Modern Poets) The Tethers by Carrie Etter (Seren Books) Blood/Sugar by James Byrne (Arc Publications)
The Hunt in the Forest by John Burnside (Jonathan Cape) Fruitcake by Selima Hill (Bloodaxe Books) Hammers and Hearts of the Gods by Fred Voss (Bloodaxe Books)