2 Poems by Gerry Stewart

ON SEEING SORLEY MACLEAN AT GLASGOW UNIVERSITY

His words tread the polished wood,

stroke the soft Gaelic of my printed page.

Love poems in an old man’s mouth

resonate through these hollow halls,

for a woman long gone,

for a land weeping.

Place names thrum like waves,

pulling me back and back

to where I never dared.

From the islands to his hills,

I chase him, unable to catch up.

His head teacher’s furrows deepen,

his voice echoing beyond this room,

an ancient cry.

It rekindles an unsensed spirit,

sleeping in words,

a thick honey I cannot fathom.

Skittish

Curled long-limbed around me,

my daughter’s thoughts tangle in knots.

Little worries creep in,

muscles tensed to spring away.

At the crowd’s edge watching,

a flick of her tail,

waiting, hiding

her flickering interest.

She pats the moment

with a hesitant paw,

a small smile,

skirting the distance

until it’s almost too late

and the others

begin to disperse.

She clings to dangling threads

of the last moments,

treasures she chases home.

She purrs the rebuilt memories

to me in the darkness,

the games she played,

friends with no names.

About the contributor

Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. In 2019 she won the 'Selected or Neglected Collection Competition' with Hedgehog Poetry Press for her collection Totems, to be published in 2020.

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