Local Characters: Basia Palka – Poet
Jim and I met Basia at Nancy Smillie’s Gallery and Shop in Cresswell Lane where she works – when she is not busy writing her lovely poetry. She is very involved with the Polish Social and Educational Society and can be found reading her poetry at their very lively and enjoyable ‘Evenings of Word and Music. The Polish Club is at 5 Parkgrove Terrace where they also have a brilliant restaurant but you have to be sure to book. (2006)
I do not write poetry often
I am agonizingly disturbed
by the volumes of poetry written,
or prose or for that matter anything else.
And now blogs
Words, words, words
Columns of print cascading down on us.
There is so much written matter that
we will all suffocate under it or
at least will be turned into gibbering monkeys.
The writing of a poem should be a
Under the most unusual of circumstances.
It should only be done
when you are able to strip yourself
to the bare essence of being.
To that which is beyond matter.
Only in that other place
where the chandeliers are made of dew drops
and the vagabond is the prince.
In that space of no confusion
lies the truth of a poem.
Write it quickly.
For in a moment
you’ll return to the mundane madness
of everyday life.
And the sacred once more
shall be hidden.
Basia Palka, 2006
Some new poems from Basia – September, 2005
Yes! Life is Hard
And so, seriously labour in daylight hours.
In velvet twilight dance with all your might.
Then, under the spreading blanket of night
place your exhausted body in soft
to rest, to die this yesterday,
at dawn to wake again, to touch
with your soul’s fingertips the precious gifts
of a day not known to you, as yet.
There are many who have considered the possibility
of the existence of angels.
Consideration does nothing.
It neither creates nor extinquishes
There are also many theories on the topic of angels;
one of which is that they are ethereal creatures.
A kind of spirit.
Some have come to the conclusion
that they are elf or fairy-like beings.
As for me, I just somehow know that they are
I have absolute faith in their existence.
Although at times the strange shapes they come in
doesn’t half shock me.
Wingless and featherless,
bodies made of bone, blood and flesh
and there’s one I know that has your face.
Fragile Pink Wings
I have wanted to know your name since forever. Alas!
Knowing yur name has not brought me closer to you
moves mistily in my mind
beyond the window frame.
I place my own hands inside my own head
and twist my mind round
to face myself. Towards the truth I would fly,
But I have no more than fragile pink wings
and can jump off but the smallest of cliffs.
I reassured myself that with time, I would
with my own determination learn
how to grow a full set of wings.
But since then and now
all that I have come to know is that;-
for wings to grow The Jump
has to be made off the cliff edge
that seems impossible, only then
during flight (in mid air)
Feathers shall be addd to keep you there.
It’s not the first time
nor will it be the last
That you and I are closer to paradise.
Time and again
you change shape,
cupping yourself to heal me.
Tears drench my face, I am weak
Just then there is a word said,
a book sent, a kiss given.
Then it all get turned upside down again,
This time it is I who changes shape
curving myself to fit-
We save lives without knowing.
Some poems from Basia – July, 2002
What if I was to tell you
that I love you more than
I love my eyelashes
what if I was to tell you
that i love you more than
I love my own breath at dawn,
what if I was to tell you
that I love you more than
I love the words I write.
Would you know what that means?
unless you loved me the same way too
and then there would be no need for such words
we would simply know.
At best love is silent-
so silent that the world can’t see it
at its worst love is a scream-
such a scream that the world can’t hear it
A white blue and a light blue,
a blue and a blue blue
a dark blue and a black blue;
the blackcloth of the earth
reflects the testure of my mood-
today I am a kind of blue.
the deepest love
Some new poems from Basia – January, 2001
Letting go of the living
First anger, then
A sort of sadness sets in
Followed by much weeping.
When the eyes have dried out
That it’s difficult to open or close eyelids.
Numbness, there you stay till
You let go.
Only then can you begin
There are only two moments
In our lives that are of any importance-
The moment of our death
I am beginning to doubt the existence of
Human beings, for they seem to me
Not altogether there, whereas for angels
I can safely say that they are either there
Or not there
Walk Byres Road
Angels have no need of lips
For they kiss with their fingertips
Not when it feels safe
But when it feels most unsafe
Not when it’s most suitable
But when it’s most unsuitable
Not when there’s time to spare
But when there’s seconds left
True love exists only when
You miss yourself
Between my eyelashes
Between each layer of my skin
Between the gaps in my teeth
Between my heart and my brain
Between my two fingers holding a cigarette
Between each breath that I take
In the space between a thought and a deed
Between time that once was and time that will be
I find you
Polish Threads in the Tartan
The Polish Community in Glasgow is participating in the groundbreaking exhibition Threads in Tartan celebrating the “rich tapestry of communities” and great diversity of Scottish society. Find out about the Polish culture through music, dance, debate and theatre at The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane. The Polish Day, 24th August, 2000, includes Robert Ostrycharz talking about some historical Scottish – Polish links and you can also sample some Polish delicacies. The locally based Polish song and dance group Rysy will also perform.
This section: People: Local Glasgow West End Characters
- Graeme Macrae Burnet – Glasgow Writer
- Payback Claire MacLeary
- Avril Paton: Artist – Pat’s Guide to Local Characters in Glasgow’s West End
- Dr Gerard Carruthers, Director Robert Burns Centre, University of Glasgow
- Celebrity Sightings – Glasgow West End
- Janey Godley, Comedienne – West End Characters
- Harry Kelly, Writer and Expert on Scottish Ceramics
- Local Characters: Basia Palka – Poet
- Gordon R. Urquhart, Historian and Conservationist
- Sheila Reid – Partick’s Playwright
- Local Characters – Anne Whitaker, Astrologer
- Local Characters: Lesley Riddoch: Broadcaster and Journalist
- West End Characters: Colin Beattie: Glasgow West End Entrepreneur
- Willie Miller Urban Designer: Glasgow West End Characters
- Allan Tall, musician/actor
- The Glasgow Cabbie – Glasgow’s Hidden Gem by Jane Sweeney
- Paul Rutherford, Personal Trainer/Lifestyle Coach – feature by Theresa Talbot
- Ranald MacColl – designer, writer, artist etc
- Anita Manning – Auctioneer – Pat’s Guide to Glasgow Characters
- Bob McDevitt, Aye Write! Programmer and Photographer