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Ian Colville


Ian is a Scot who lives in England, which sometimes annoys both parties. he blogs – infrequently nowadays – on Scottish historical events (a sort of 'book of days' – which you can find ). He has had over twenty poems published in various online magazines (with editorial control) and in half a dozen or so print collections. He is a regular contributor at local poetry readings and open mic events in Bedfordshire. Some of the pieces that don't make it into magazines, He publishes for vanity here: . 

Frank had never been out of Scotland, in fact
he'd never left the north-east,
but he was less insular
than many a Brit who'd gone to Portimão or Málaga,
afraid of sampling foreign food,
demanding statutory fish and chips.
He was more enlightened than any of those
who raise their voices overseas,
not so much as if Johnny was deaf,
more of a complex, misplaced superiority,
without the slightest justification.
He'd read all the Russians, old and new,
from Bulgakov to War and Peace,
and he'd quote Pablo and Neruda
as well as he could recite Fergusson and Burns.
Aye, he'd never left Scotland,
but he'd not stayed there either.

He appeared out of nowhere
as if he'd fallen through my letter box
unaddressed, a ship that ran aground,
a dead letter perched mocking on the mantelpiece.

His hands were almost translucent
like the work of ages had worn them out
and within his veins I felt I saw
the ink of every word he'd ever penned.

His exiled mind sought no conscious refuge
and he'd already assumed the telling's worth
was nil, denied its cogent value 
and yielded, scorning pages uninscribed.

When asked, he said, I'd prefer not to write,
decomposing with an endless stare,
his stock suppressed, creative germ subdued
by introspective days of un-penned melancholy. 

His skill expelled as if expired,
he leper-like withdrew apart and weakly trod 
his notions' paths between the aisles of day and night,
wrapped in brooding circumstance, despised perhaps

he shunned all grades of fellowship,
unheedful in his sombre gloom of any slight,
my anxious eye, indecent to his sterile muse,
wordlessly rebuffed as he walked alone and mute.

But when he gasped and groped for quill at last
as, veil removed, he felt the shadows part,
where verse in genre crowded through the mist
aboard a vessel captained by his source,

he thought he'd write about his life and tell
a tale of how he'd seen his muse expire,
of sorrow, grief, despair and lack of hope--
before the poet's words resumed their flow.

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