My Valentine poem ‘Sunkissed’ is number 4 here. Pop over and vote for your favourite.


Indian Summer

It really has been the most gorgeous week on the beautiful Isle of Mull.

Indian summer

The leaves are falling, crisp underfoot,
and the hills shimmer in the heat.
I crave ice in my glass, breeze, shade;
my sandals are cool on my feet,
boots shoved back in the porch.
The sun’s a pendant in flaming brass,
hung on a cloth of dusty blue.
I’m melting. How long can this last?


Today’s September 2014 poem-a-day. I’ve been listening to a new jazz recording a friend has given me.

The elegiac quality of saxophone
eases its way into my mind,
quietly asserting its charm,
sliding deftly into its place
in my aural memory,
as if it had never been away.

A Small Twitterverse

This week’s prompt from @fieryverse on Twitter.

#fieryverse prompt ’Say it Slow’

Say goodbye
I don’t

Poetry Map Poem 25: Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull

the StAnza Blog

Metaphorical Distance

Out at farthest focus, drifting, peaceful:
Green ladled with mauve like a healing bruise.
Light lies heavy on the horizon; chooses
To lean its languid body westward. The pull
Of the rolling planet quickens, and the full
Swelling, murmurous mass of the tide looses
The bonds of gravity, dropping the deep, pellucid,
Purpleness of light gracefully into the ocean’s well.

Dipping my toe into the water, gasping
At the cold, desiring to go deeper and far,
I stare outward along the long divide
Of the horizon: the waves on the sand rasping
At the edge of the land, my feet, my heart:
Like this sea-coloured bruise I am trying to hide.

Yvonne Marjot

To view our Map of Scotland in Poems as it grows, see http://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-map-revealed/ . For more information on this project, and on how to submit a poem, see http://stanzapoetry.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/mapping-scotland-in-poetry/.

All poems on our poetry map…

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Berceuse for a Sleeping Mirror: F G Lorca 5 June 1898-19 August 1936.

Como mi corazón
así tú,
espejo mío.

As my heart is,
so you are,
my mirror

On this day in 1936, Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was shot by Franco’s troops after being forced to dig his own grave.

I was introduced to Lorca’s poetry by one of my boyfriends.To grant a poet the gift of another poet’s words, when those words are precisely what is needed in the situation: that is a gift beyond measure. It seems only fitting that today, when things are difficult and my mood is low, I turn to Lorca to commune with a fellow soul and am reminded that this is the anniversary of his death.

Lorca’s a hard man to get to grips with. It’s tempting to try and shoehorn him into categories, which I won’t list here – because he’s not so easily pigeonholed. For me he speaks the silent language of the heart, the words birds make when they swirl past you, the staccato machine-gunned voices of argument, the slow slip of the river into which we are so, so tempted to fall. To my friend he said something entirely different.

Here is a man who spoke a language other than my own, whose life followed a path with which I am unable to fully empathise, whose generation lived and died in a world that now seems so very distant from our own. So very distant. It was, after all, another century. But his words still speak to me. “Is my heart your heart? Who is mirroring my thoughts? Who lends me this unrooted passion?”

Maybe they will speak to you too.

2014 StAnza Digital Slam Results!

Listen to the winner of the StAnza blog poetry slam, Stephen Watt. A cracking poem.

the StAnza Blog

StAnza 2014 Slam, photo by Helena Fornells Nadal StAnza 2014 Slam, photo by Helena Fornells Nadal

Thanks again to everyone who took part and/or voted in our 2014 Digital Slam, and to this year’s partner, the Badilisha Poetry Exchange. It was a strong shortlist and we received a record number of votes. These have now been counted etc, and we can announce:

In third place: Ama Asantewa Diaka

In second place: Batsirai Chigama

And the WINNER of our 2014 Digital Slam is: Stephen Watt

Congratulations to Stephen! Look out for a special blog about him in a week or so. In the meantime, here’s the winning performance:

4. Stephen Watt (Dumbarton)

And if this has whetted your appetite for slam, don’t forget the heats of this year’s BBC Edinburgh Slam at the Fringe, in which StAnza’s Eleanor Livingstone is again a judge, are currently taking place every evening until Thursday at 8.15pm in the Pink Bubble at Potterrow…

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Controlled Burn

Here’s a wee poem I wrote for the Twitter #fieryverse prompt ‘controlled burn’.

He falls,
rope wrapped around one forearm,
the other controlling his descent.
Watching the play of muscle and skill,
I burn.

Sea Glass

A haiku about our trip to Goring on the south coast of England yesterday. While we were swimming and beach combing in the sunshine, two miles away Worthing was deluged with rain. We could see thunderstorms crossing the water, but none came near us.

Sea glass at Goring;

the boys are flint knapping,

the water cool salt green.

The Map Revealed

Here’s the StAnza poetic map of Scotland. One of my poems is on it, as well as some other fine poems. If your town’s not featured yet – send them your poem, get it up there.

the StAnza Blog

MapWe’ve had a wonderfully enthusiastic response so far to our request for poems with which to map Scotland, 69 poems from almost 50 people in just over a week, and huge thanks to everyone who has submitted. So far we’ve included one poem by everyone who has submitted (including a couple of suggestions of traditional poems), attaching the poems to the locations as best we can identify them, giving the location plus the title of the poem (except where these are the same) and the poet’s name. Then we’ve shown the first two lines of each poem, keeping line breaks as far as googlemaps make this possible. So here is the map as it stands at present.

Click on one of the pins and it will open for the poem for that location. When we post one of the poems in full on our blog, we add a link to that as well, and we do hope to feature most of the poems eventually. Later, once…

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