The Wanderlust Women – three poems
Poems from the Wanderlust Women, Lesley Benzie, Donna Campbell and Linda Jackson. Recently performed on their trip to Tuscany.
At Dieppe the ferry approached
the same pale cream cliffs
that we left ahin in Newhaven.
A remnant that we were once
o the same landmass
afore risin sea levels an a tsunami
drooned the land-bridge atween us.
Still, at its closest point, the British
an French went on tae build a twinty mile lang tunnel
aboon the rubble o a war that cost 85 million lives.
Though nivver a dove, Churchill wis the first tae propose
a union, that has delivered the langest period
o peace in European history.
Drivin the campervan aff the ferry deck,
there dominatin Dieppe’s Quartier du Pollet
on its eastern cliff, the Chapelle Notre-Dame
de Bonsecours owerlooks us.
Kent as the seamen’s kirk, its inner waas
filled wi memorials tae aa the souls
fa hiv lost their lives at sea.
As the licht dims an the sky turns a deep lilac
wi a pink hue, fadin tae navy blue then black
though Ah’m nae a believer
Ah could drap tae ma knees an pray
as the Chapelle accompanied by a towerin
sculpture o the crucifixion lichts up.
It faces oot tae sea an towards the UK
like a beacon for those fa hiv lost their wye.
The next day, Ah read that Britain’s richest man
arch Brexiteer, Sir Jim Ratcliffe,
is leavin the UK tae go an bide in Monaco.
(Dieppe, France 2020)
Journey of a Lifetime
One day I will adorn my back with a rucksack
packed with essentials and board a train in Glasgow
with a Euro pass in pocket and not let time dictate
my route nor length of stay in any country that takes
my fancy, for this is a journey of a lifetime, one
I have saved for all my life with pennies dropped in
Piggybanks; later, notes deposited in savings accounts
of my local credit union.
I will throw away my phone, purchase a map of Europe,
each country an array of vibrant colour I can unfold,
mark my journey, watch the paper crumple with wear
and tear, spot with food when planning routes
eating Tortelli, Peirogi, Stroganoff, Schnitzel, Bratwurst, Pizza.
There are places that are a must: The Vatican, sighing bridges,
ancient catacombs, St. Basil’s Cathedral, hills groaning with crosses, Dracula Castles shrouded in mist. The list is endless.
One day I will board a train in Glasgow,
throw away my phone and wonder why it has taken so long
to venture from the old chip off the block that is the U.K.
Si Fermi Qui
Signor Capitano, si fermi qui
Sono tanto stanco, mi fermo si.
That day in the Casa d’Italia, elderly men wept.
Songs of the Partisans stirred the ancient river,
crossed il Ponte della Maddalena –
there, at the wedding of my brother.
Family from Barga celebrate
surprised that this song from long ago
of tired young boys in the snow
wading the Serchio River
surrounds and gathers us…still.
Fifty years have gone, in Barga finding family,
voices and poems, wandering stories and songs
here in the Aula Culturale,
younger women repeat the refrain,
anti-war songs rise again
for Ukraine and Russia – boys
North of the Black Sea,
Signor Capitano si fermi qui.
(Glasgow, Casa D’Italia, June 1973. Going to Barga, April 2022)
This section: Books, Talks, Poetry and Creative Writing Events, stories and poems, Writing
- Sma’ Shot Day 2022
- Glasgow Literary Lounge at the Scotia Bar
- The Voyage Out: The Travel Writing Workshop with Linda Jackson
- Roy’s West End View: History is bunk …and it ends just outside London
- Stories of Our Worlds – Refugee Festival 2022
- Aye Write Three Debut Authors (interviewed by Matthew Keeley)
- Scottish Writers: Bloomsday Celebration with Christie Williamson
- The Literary Treatment of Racism – Lola Rose
- A Road Runs Through It by Frankie Gault
- Film + Q&A: Zev Robinson’s “Feeding the City”
- The Wanderlust Women – three poems
- Aye Write: Prof Dame Sue Black ‘The Books that Made Me
- Poetry by Maryam Raza
- Book Launch: This Script by Jenny Lindsay
- Creative Conversations: Michael Pederson
- Aye Write: The Kavya Prize
- Aye Write: Graeme Thomson with John Dingwall
- Aye Write: Beyond the Swelkie
- CARLA Book Launch at tell it slant
- All Becomes Art – Poems to Joan Eardley