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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Sunday Posts 2013/Rain

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I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane...
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one big thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,

I think to when we opened cold
on a starlit gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign
and I’d read into its blazing line:
forget the ink, the milk, the blood -
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters
and none o…

The Sunday Posts 2013/ Assynt And Edinburgh

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From the corner of Scotland I know so well
I see Edinburgh sprawling like seven cats
on its seven hills beside the Firth of Forth.

And when I'm in Edinburgh I walk
amongst the mountains and lochs of that corner
that looks across the Minch to the Hebrides.

Two places I belong to as though I was born
in both of them.

They make every day a birthday,
giving me gifts wrapped in the ribbons of memory.
I store them away, greedy as a miser.

Norman MacCaig
Photo by Alistair

MacKenzies Coat Of Mail.

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A rewrite of an earlier post.

Another one from my hobby of Scots history

The Mutiny Of the 78th Seaforth Highlanders.
Edinburgh, North Britain, September 1778.

Thirty five years after the mutiny of the Black Watch , a Highland regiment once again felt it necessary to take up arms to prevent itself being treated dishonourably. Since Samuel Macpherson, Malcom Macpherson and Farquhar Shaw were shot in front of  the 300 tearful men of The Black Watch who were made to witness the execution of their three comrades in the Tower Of London, much had changed in their distant glens.

The final Jacobite attempt to reinstate a Stewart to the throne of Britain had ended strewn across the field in front of redcoat lines on Culloden Moor on a sleet cold April morning, signalling the start of the final chapter for the old clan-based way of life. This age old system, which had been decaying for generations as the power and influence of the south had turned clan chiefs heads and purses to focus on things…

The Sunday Posts 2013/ The place where the sidewalk ends

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There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein
Photo by Alistair.

The Sunday Posts 2013/Macavity

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Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw--
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no on like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime--Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air--
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!

Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly doomed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity…