Balloch Open Mic Blog: A New Kid On The Block

malcolm goldie open mic

Martin Goldie

Despite only writing poetry for just over a year, sixty two year old Martin Goldie, has had poems published in ‘Writer’s Forum’ and the Scottish Poetry Publication ‘Wee Dreich and Dreich.’ He enjoys reading his poems live and online and regularly participates in live and zoom open mic events, including the Balloch Open Mic sessions, which is the closest to his home.

He says, ‘I have been hillwalking for most of my life and many of my poems are inspired by landscape, the weather which influences our experience of the land and the flora and fauna which colour our wild and quiet places.’

His poem “West to Inverchaolain” was placed third in the Dunoon Rotary Club Poetry competition 2021 and published in the Dunoon Observer. It will now be published in the January issue of ‘Discover Scotland’. It was inspired by a walk he took to the summit of the Cowal mountain Cruach Nan Capull, on a route which followed the “coffin trail”* which travel’s from Glen Kin west over the desolate Bealach nan Sreine to Inverchaolain, on the east shore of Loch Striven.’

Martin, who currently works in the Justice Sector as an Administrative Officer, lives with his wife, Janice and son, also a budding poet, in the village of Ardentinny in Cowal, Argyll.

*For a very interesting and readable article, with spectacular photographs, of the ‘coffin trails’ check out Issue 59 of ‘Discover Scotland’ 

West to Inverchaolain

West, they walked, to Inverchaolain,

Grieving sons and kin,

On that final sad and wretched journey.

And on a bleak and sombre pass

Below cold Green Knapp’s

Snow dressed slopes

They laid their precious cargo down,

On rain lashed granite coffin stones.

And on that sodden turf, forlorn,

Those rugged hardy brothers

Stood together cold and crying

Huddled tight against the rain,

A prayer to God,

A plea for strength

A watered dram to dull the pain.

And rested from that bruising labour

Heavy casket once more shouldered

West, they walked, to Inverchaolain,

Hunched backs raw and breaking

Sunday’s best soiled and soaking

Polished brogues drenched and leaking

From that barren windswept height

Those stoic hands with no complaint

Continued on their desperate journey.

Through dense blinding chilling mist

Exhausted aching bodies floundered,

Down pitted broken pathless slopes

They bore that heavy cross with grace,

Lungs burning

Hearts breaking

Spirit slowly dying,

West, they walked, to Inverchaolain,

The nearest holy ground to ‘Kin

Where joyous loving couples wed

Where Cowal’s cool clear mountain burns

Baptized the bawling bairns of ‘Lean,

And in that chapel’s hallowed soil

Where weary souls would lie

For their eternal rest;

West, they walked, to Inverchaolain

Into the cold hard numbing rain

On this their promised path to heaven,

And when that shattered broken cortege

Reached that cold and empty church;

And in that silent place of worship,

Before their makers sacred altar,

Laid their mother’s precious corpse to rest,

There were no Lamonts to lament.

Martin Goldie

Mary Irvine, December, 2021

Second International Alasdair Gray Conference
Calton Ceilidh Open Mic 14 December, 2021

This section: Blog: Balloch Open Mic, Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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