Poems this week are about dreams and  wishes, also the viewpoint of age, and how experience follows us round. Mavis Gulliver’s hands speak to her of her life. David Whippman writes of the place of coffee in his personal memories, especially  those of desire.

Harper Lee is an elderly lady in Angela Topping’s poem: the Mockingbird has been singing for fifty years as Harper Lee lives on. 

Sandie Craigie looks in the mirror and sees ageing although she is younger. (This is one of Sandie’s few poems in standard English.) Sandie stopped dreaming, dying at age 42 but the majority of us dream on, and wish on. These hands are ours.

I’m adding a fifth poem, sonnet-style (it has only 12 lines) by Maurice Lindsay, written when he was in his eighties and published in Poetry Scotland in 2008. The poem is a memory, recent or distant, and it is happy, quiet and calm. It’s there to remind us we dont ever have to give up.

To submit, please send poems first published at least three years ago by email to sallyevans 35 at gmail dot com.

Posts are normally published at the weekend, anything from Friday to Sunday but we aim to have different poems up every Sunday for your perusal.  I have been distracted rather pleasantly this last week so we are late for last weekend but early for the coming weekend.



Mavis Gulliver

that these hands are mine
is hard
to track
     the change
from dimpled chubbiness
through varnished elegance
            to these
these hands
look so much older
than I feel
    a maze
a labyrinth of lines
in thinning skin
index finger’s
   swollen joint
            arthritic curve
middle finger
      ridge rubbed
by the pen
but still
      they write
connect with memories
to keep the flow
make sense
       of a lifetime’s

IOTA, Issue 81, 2008


David Whippman
Caffeine Dreams                               

Latte, mocha,  were my champagne.
I splashed them across the bows
of every proposed adventure,
each anticipated relationship.
In cafes and friends’ apartments
we sipped over travel routes.
And how many times I looked into girls’ eyes
through the steam of cappuccino.

Everything sank on launching:
we trekked no further than a second cup.
And “Come back for coffee?”
turned out to be non-Freudian.

These days, Proust-like, the smell of roasted
takes me back to those days of potential,
little of it realised. Still,
I know a good espresso when I taste one. 

This was published a few years ago in a coffee-themed anthology



Angela Topping
A Garden for Harper Lee

Of course there’s a mockingbird.
It’s been singing for fifty years,
a different song each time.

There’s an old oak tree for shelter,
The earth is cool underneath,
the trunk too thick for embracing.

There’s a path to the house door
lined with purple and yellow primroses
The ragged lawn’s daisy-dotted.

No one plays in the tree-house now
Jem and Scout grew up, moved out.
Magnolias are banned like sad memories.

Arthur Radley loves this garden
though he never walks there.
He can only peer from windows.

He misses the children
but keeps close his memories
in his mind still watches their play.

First published in Paper Patterns, Lapwing,  2012


Sandie Craigie

And I…care not for vanity
nor idle conversation
around the word –  ME

And you… in all your depths
can but reflect

Yet I have fallen for
your clear persuasions
that what you show
is all there is to see

and you… through time
have drowned the child in me

Yet somewhere in your eyes
I saw a young girl
but time has stolen,
I have grown old

How foolish now.
I came to you, believing
Oh Mirror, you
I thought you knew my soul

written c 2004, published in Coogit Bairns, Red Squirrel Press.


Maurice Lindsay
Night Incident

Your ponies are out, the man at the front door said.
They’re grazing in a field down the loch road.
We put on clothes to face the dark spring night,
and set out in the car, carrying torches.
Half way down the road to the loch two eyes
looked up from grazing as we crossed the fence.
Cautiously, so as not to disturb
the beasts, under cover of darkness, we crawled
closer, then lit torches. Two roe deer,
disturbed at eating by the sudden light
rushed past us. Then we called the ponies by name.
Out of the darkness quietly they came.

first published Poetry Scotland 2005