Category: Words

Words about Art, poetry, music and inspirations.

Beaches: A Hobby

Original art. Perfect Day 2. Acrylic on canvas. £250

Beaches: A Hobby

Remembering Norman MacCaig.

Beaches are probably
My favourite hobby.
I collect (without possession)
Their signature look
And their future-proof
redolence-ready uniqueness.
I possess (without collecting)
The salt-spray, salt-caked
salt-memorised demarcation line
Between MacCaig’s ruffled foreland
And the distant frieze of mountains.

But they are disdainful.
They refuse to acknowledge
My presence. My footsteps
being ephemeral scars
On a countenance
Which converses only with equals,
Such as the sea.

I have never been one
To collect fireside objects
Or trophies. Neatly filed,
Leather-bound, catalogued.
Only for the timid, that. For navel gazers.
Or those who possess blindly
Without empathy.

There is something else
With beaches though.
A quality of sharp sand and round pebble;
Of tidal pools and scudding clouds,
Of rocks, bladderwrack, daydreams
And vast horizons in my expansive mind.

When I was a child
I dreamed happily
Of holding small stones
Which weighed
A hundredweight
(The converse also
was exciting).

Now a small ripple
At the edge of
The vast anxious ocean
Incites a pleasurable tension.

Beaches will probably
Remain my hobby.
A muffled quiet persistency
Transcends the advancing years
And exhorts me to love
The discordant oxymoron
Of sun-kissed memories,
And wind-lashed reality.

Brian Crawford Young

Norman MacCaig 1910-1996. “Who owns This Land?”
from The Poems of Norman MacCaig (Polygon, 2005)

Through the Air

Through the Air

Through the air
A glinting sunbeam flashes
Searing the happy shaking leaves
Dew-adorned on early morning trees
Green moss swathes my naked feet
(Trousers rolled up
Inhibitions rolled down)
And shoe-less tingling toes
Filter water through the pebbles
Of a dusty riverbed

As step by step
A crisp sunrise
Unveils the beauty
Of the day

Dreams of the Sea

‘Leaving Orkney’; Acrylic on block canvas, 41×41 cms; £250

Dreams of the Sea

Sitting proud
On a flat estuary
My ship is taking water
(the seagulls are voracious).

Passing bland islands
Floating debris scars
Our meandering wake.

Sailing to windward
The luff rattles,
Our prow scintillates
The flat Firth.

Nearing Chanonry,
The narrows beckon,
Laughing dolphins cavort.

Standing to larboard
Shoulder to the future
Plimsoles on the camber
Of the wet deck.

© Brian Crawford Young 2017

Murmurings from Aloft

Murmurings From Aloft

(At an attic window, Holyrood Crescent, Glasgow)

Window rattling drew me here;
weary of spirit,
longing for the chasm of sleep,
troubled by love’s emotions.

A chimney-crowned tenement
commands my attention.
Dark shapes in silhouette
delineating the city’s dull skyline.

A warm strange wind plucks and pulls
at the trees in the Square.
Animating, aggravating
the leaves in the treetops.

Flyting, dancing,
in a dark paso doble
of sinister intent.
The eerie chiaroscuro of night.

There is no stranger here
in fedora,
collar up, head down.
No cigarette glowing.

No full moon or hooting owls
or toppled dustbins.
No shrieking arch-backed cats
nor shadows on the blinds.

No dog barking
with a juicy bone.
No incessant ringing
of a distant telephone.

I am at home
in monochrome
breathing mist
on the windowpane.

Why then does my heart beat loud
and my mind race,
regardless of the lateness
of the hour?

I close the curtains.
Kick hapless furniture.
Stumble to bed, murmuring.
Lost in the landscape of night.

© Brian Crawford Young 2017

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