Monthly Archives: May 2017

Making Poetry


So here I am writing a blog on the 23rd May, 2017. Tinky are just back from Arran, where we headlined a good days music in an extremely beautiful part of the world. Corrie is gorgeous, a wee strip of houses facing the Scottish west coast across the Clyde.  The gig was at the village hall, & the camping was all about it & even by the beach : an amazing place & a jolly good romp.


Suffice it to say, out of Tinky’s seven members 5 of them stayed up all night – but none of these were me. Yes, I got some kip & even gave that half a pill in my pocket back to the guy who gave it me when I woke up in the morning. Things are different & seeing as I’m a driver I stayed sober & got Kate, Roy & Steve back to Edinburgh. Tinky are on at Eden in a few weeks, so things are ticking along nicely.


Literary-wise I’m working hard on some books. I took the the Burnliad down to Burnley & got my photo in the Burnley Express. It was cool being home, down to the fact we had a family in room in the Oaks Hotel & the girls loved the pool. Its like the Oaks is gonna be my house in Burnley from now on. I’ve made it , innit. We also saw Nicky for some amateur dramatics & co & in sisterworld it was wee Jacob’s fifth birthday party. I even managed to sell a book to a Burnley badge-seller outside Turf Moor! A small, but significant step.




At the moment I’m just bursting with ideas; the new language….  the Menalean hypochisp in the Homeric Answer… filming Alibi with the new band camera… rewrite MacPherson’s Fingal from the original Gaelic fragments… compose an American epic called Stars & Stripes, showing how amazing George Washington was & show dumb Trump is… an new essay based on Wordsworth’s composition of the Cottagers – a perfect example of how poetry is made… a chronological account of Keats’ Scottish journal.

Roxy's 8th @ The Kilted Lobster, Stockbridge
Roxy’s 8th @ The Kilted Lobster, Stockbridge

I’m also reading through my ‘Epistles to Posterity,’ samples of my journals & blogs which I will be Publishing soon. Then there is the poetry which I intend to close out The Silver Rose with. I am currently writing in tandem my wolf poem & my ‘Honeymoon’ mirror-poem to the Grand Tour. This afternoon I took a long walk through the Lammermuirs, disturbing the nesting curlews, treading the grassy sheep tracks & loving the whole scene. On the walk I completed stanzas 19 & 20 (out of 55) of the Honeymoon, & also poem 10 (out of 24) of the Wolf poem, so I’m getting there.


These weeks pass’d & to come are highly interesting for my poetic art. Its been a while since I’ve plateauxed into a period of composition, & although it seems to be taking more effort to craft my lines, my Apollonian, the end results are rather pleasing still. I’ve still got it I guess. Having a car is also quite liberating as I can compose in various places & moods. I have written honeymoon stanzas on the river walk to Bolton from Gifford. I have written wolf stanzas on the amazing walk around the Garleton Hills above Haddington. Indeed, this latter place – the veritable epicenter of East Lothian – is somewhere Ive fallen in love with. I’d love to live there; two ruined castles, golden gorse, craggy outposts, supreme visions of sea & distant Edinburgh. Lets see what the future brings…


Update May 2017


Yesterday I woke up under Ben Cruachan in the car. I was gonna climb it, but I couldn’t see it because of the hoary mist, so I drove back home instead. I didn’t really mind as it had been a wonderful drive the day before, up to Glen Coe & down Glen Etive where the road abruptly ended. So I went on a big circular drive & ended u[p at Bonawe, where I couldn’t catch the ferry to Tynuilt anymore, as it had stopped  a few years ago.  Over the two days I picked up my first ever hitchers – a young German couple on their gap year & a guy called Howard who needed to get to Killin to get some gout medicine. Of course I sympathised massively.


Anyway, Burnley won away at Crystal Palace the other, which all but seals their return to the premier league. To celebrate, I finished No Nay Never off finally & collected it along with The Ballad of Pendle Hill & a chispological survey of Brunanburh in a book called THE BURNLIAD. This is the 4th release this year, after the Scotiad, Axis & Allies & the Chisper Effect, all of which can be bought via Completely Novel. This weekend I’m off to Burnley for Jacob’s birthday party, & on the Monday have in interview with the Burnley Express, where they want to take a photo of me holding the book.







Also nearly ready to go is the new Tinky Disco album, Tink A Lickle. Its been quite a journey, as I felt out with the producer in Glasgow (another greedy geezer) & so weve had to try & work some magic on the singlemix rough wavs – but I think we’ve done it thanks to Victor Pope. The musics gonna be used in the next set of episodes of the Tinky Disco Show, which we’ll be filming in a couple of weeks, culminating in a headline slot on Arran. Unfortunately Kenny was a massive nob’ed a couple of weeks ago & Ive thrown him out of the band; to which decision none of the rest of the Tinky members put up any iota of resistance. It sounds like we mean business.


So all is well &, a few weeks shy of 41, Im still composing poetry. I’m also doing a bit of gardening with the help of my neighbours. One of them actually died last week – Jimmy, he was 85. A sound lad, but starved off conversation he was always nipping his head over for a chat. Well, he was a full of old stories – a commando in the Korean war kinda vibe. Anyway, I said to him one day this summer I’ll film his tales with a  camcorder for posterity. Too late now, though, he’d dead, & a real reminder to seize the day & get some work done. So, the next release is my epistles to posterity, which I’ve got down to about 600 pages at the moment, & after that I’ll be publishing The Silver Rose : at last. Ive still got some composition to do over the next month or so, but now everything is neatly laid out. I’ve got just over 40 quatrains of the Honeymoon poem to compose, & 18 free verse poems to create about my last wolf of Scotland poem, which after 3 years is finally being done. That was why I drove north actually, because I decided Cruachan would be the birthben of the wolf. This free verse is also forming the materielle for my last burst of essay writing, which I shall be doing on our summer holiday in Crete. I intend to write a series of essays, summing up my poetic contributions to the art; which shall be;

Translating Thirukurral : the story of the translation, including its recent transformation into Humanology

The Sonneverse : My ideas on the sonnet & its sequanzas

Formal Free Verse : The standardization of Free Verse

The Tryptych : A wee essay on my stanza & its creation

The New Republic :  A Plato-style description of the Bardic College & its uses in society & how voter reform would work