Poetry Blog by Stuart A. Paterson

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Stuart A Paterson on Dreich (Mon, 9 Nov 2015 01:52 pm)

Stu Buck on Dreich (Mon, 9 Nov 2015 10:37 am)

Stuart A Paterson on Swimming at high tide..... (Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:05 pm)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on Swimming at high tide..... (Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:09 pm)

Lynn Dye on Swimming at high tide..... (Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:18 pm)

Stuart A Paterson on Swimming at high tide..... (Tue, 11 Mar 2014 06:48 pm)

Anthony Emmerson on Swimming at high tide..... (Tue, 11 Mar 2014 05:48 pm)

Stuart A Paterson on A return of sorts (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:34 pm)

Stuart A Paterson on CRIANLARICH (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:27 pm)

Greg Freeman on A return of sorts (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:41 pm)


Here's a poem about two very different but inextricable subjects.


I'm sure it's raining on Blabheinn,
that's there's harsh smirr in Hallistra,
low cloud hanging wet & heavy 
like kelp over Greshornish
& that the hardy women of Roag
are bowing happed heads
against winter already.

In Dumfries, where there are
500 indigenous English
language words for dreich,
I dream of the turqu...

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Life & Death in a Northern Climate



It's all downhill from the Aultnamain Inn

on a Friday afternoon in 1995,

the Dornoch Firth a sluggish curclicue

lazing under snow-shaved braes,

a sky of purest Highland winter blue.


A wind with gold-capped teeth

snaps at my face as down the hill

I slalom into Edderton, awash with

dodgy 12 year-old Auchenlosh,

defying record...

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Swimming at high tide.....


That night, when everything was full,
The moon, the flaring bay & me,
Everything was possible, beautiful.
I could have swum to St. Bee’s
In minutes, made for Maryport,
Washed myself up in England
Casually before the pubs shut,
Tide-bright & thirsty on the strand.
As it was, I floated a mere hundred yards
On gentle waves to a stake-net pole,
Driftwood on a fluid mirror of stars,

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Fires in ancient buildings.....

Another poem about Sandyhills & another of the old & interesting places you can find round these parts. We call it Barnhourie Hall but that's probably not its name. It's hidden in ferns at the back of a golf course & is obviously pretty old & been deserted for centuries. Ideal for late night fires then.


for Tony Barbour

Long after midnight, we stride through
Wet ferns & ch...

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Another wee blast of grim northern verse from my Highland stravaigings early in 2013. Crianlarich is the railway station/stop where the train from Glasgow splits, half to Oban, half to Mallaig, or rejoins on the way south from both. It's surrounded by fantastic scenery & the temperature always seems to be -2C.



At Crianlarich where the great winds roared,

Hyphens of rai...

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A poem written for someone I never met

Elegy For Someone Else’s Sister

Grief's speed travels fast nowadays on lines
through the air, the ground, the shrunken sky.
A moment explodes like an atom parsed
by words sparked immediate electrically.

Her name's my love's name, her loss but a little
forwewarning, a ripple that's gone before long,
an echo best freed for the airways, her name
a chorus in somebody else's song

this time. Your news is almost ...

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A return of sorts

This is my first real visit to Write Out Loud in some time. Much has changed in the past 2-3 years. I returned to rural Scotland over a year ago after jettisoning a career in social care, began writing again with seriousness for the first time in a while, have had to re-evaluate much so I didn't lose all. Here's the first of a few poems I'll be posting over the coming weeks. As usual, any feedback...

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As with the previous piece, the setting is late at night in a residential children's home.

North Manchester, a night sliced wide
By rain for poor folk, wet like oil,
Dark as soot. Behind the bins a fox
Is chattering horribly & madly at itself,
Alarms howl in & out, sirens
Dot the borders of my hearing, wearily.

Shaun prowls the corridors like something
From The Shining, Malcolm

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From 1998 until 2007, I worked in residential children's homes, some shifts, as in this poem, being through the night. They were unforgettable sometimes.


"...and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."
(Emily Bronte, 'Wuthering Heights')

Night vibrates to the far-near saw & hum

of motorway & airport, now & then

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Robert Burns meets Bigfoot

See what can happen?



Now here’s a tale, of men and mice

(Though which is which I leave to you)

Whose aliases must suffice

(And sadly must their motives too).


It happened one cold winter’s night

When snow lay thick upon the hills,

When Spain is hot and Scotland’s white

And all is quiet around the stills.


But not...

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A poem

I did promise. And I'm a man of my words.



The house is not a home that lies bereft
of care or love when love and care have left.
Best lock the door, but leave the key behind
for others less bereft of heart to find.


Bright echoes fade into the toneless drone
of self-perpetuation. No-one's home,
that's clear, though lights shine hopefully behind
dull windows curtained c...

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Me in someone else's poem

I've just featured in a poem by my friend, Scottish poet Hugh McMillan. On a train journey from Oban to Glasgow earlier this year, I ate a poem he was writing. I'm not sure how good a poem it actually was, but it tasted very papery, with a hint of Bic. Hugh has just published this poem in his new 'Poetry Map of Scotland', Postcards from the Hedge, but he lies in it by writing that I then threw up....

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