Tag Archives: haiku

Strathcarron

Sundial

Let others tell of storms and of showers
I’ll only count your sunny hours

In spring and summer 2011 I ran several writing sessions with day-care patients at Strathcarron Hospice near Denny. We talked and wrote about places, objects, gardens, people, sharing and affirming memories, and opening new conversations about previously unsuspected things-in-common. Here’s a group poem –

A Strathcarron Lucky Bag

Sheena Easton, Larry Marshall,
Billy Bremner, Walter Scott,
Taggart, Wallace, Tom Mackay,
Mary Stuart and a’ yon lot

munch Selkirk bannocks, jeely pieces,
Atholl rasps and Cullen Skink,
haggis puddings, drop scones, crumpets,
a pint of IPA to drink

in Denny, Falkirk, River City,
Balquhidder, the Necropolis,
the Tryst Golf Club, Loch Fyne, Loch Tay,
at Mrs Anderson’s, Bo’ness –

and aye a jaunt to Kirriemuir,
I hear yon Camera Obscur–
a there is fairly worth a keek – but that
we’ll have to maybe leave till next week.

At the final session, last September, we read the work to other patients and hospice staff in the day-lounge. and I thought that was that, until this week a bundle of booklets arrived in the post.

Who We Are and What We Like

Who We Are and What We Like collects the poems and prose we wrote last week in a simple, 12-page, A5 booklet, thoughtfully and carefully crafted.

The photos below show some ‘Garden Haiku’ in the hospice grounds.

Hosta – food for snails

Coloured poppies / at lunch-time the school-kids / came to hear you pop

Rhododendrons / in springtime / in the gardens at Bidduph

If you’d like a copy of the booklet let me know, and I’ll post one out.

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The Road North: a matsuri festival


This May, join Alec and Ken Cockburn for a matsuri festival at the Hidden Gardens, Glasgow. For the past year Alec and Ken have been travelling through Scotland, guided by the Japanese poet Basho. On Sunday 15th May, their year-long journey will come to an end, and to celebrate they have invited some of the people they met along the way to join them for an informal afternoon in the gardens. There will be performances of poetry and song, paper wishes to tie, and teas from Japan and China served by the gardens’ cultural cookery group. The performances are scheduled for 3pm.

The Hidden Gardens, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow G41 2PE

You can follow Alec and Ken’s journey on their blog, and there’s an e-invitation for you here.

Reading the Streets


This pamphlet was launched at The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh last week. It’s the first publication by Neil Christie’s Duende Press, and features a sequence of six ‘city’ tanka, and seven haiku about the moon. Neil has produced it as a little concertina, small enough to open to its full extent with a single pair of arms. The poems have been beautifully illustrated by Libby Walker, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art last year. There’s a continuous and very busy image running through the tanka, and separate, more colourful and abstract images complement the haiku.

You can get hold of a copy – the printed version, or a pdf – from the Duende Press website, and also at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Neil is a fine graphic designer, and I’ve worked with him on several Scottish Poetry Library projects over the years, including the CD The Jewel Box (2000) and the postcard book Poem Prints (2005), but this is the first time I’ve worked on a ‘personal’ project with him. Neil has also designed most of knucker press’s output, and there was a new knucker booklet launched last night as well. How to Wire a Life for Love features Liz Bassett’s astutely observed and finely crafted poems, with illustrations by Angelika Kroeger.