KNOTBROOK TAYLOR is an Angus based poet and member of the Blue Salt Collective.  His first chapbook ‘Beatitudes’ was published in 2007. The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh commissioned his second collection ‘Scottish Lighthouse Poems’ which was published in 2011 and explored the rich history and arcane knowledge related to lighthouses in Scotland.  It is available from the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. In 2014 he won the Erbacce prize for his collection Ping-Pong In The Rain, a book which includes themes exploring sexuality, death and the film Bladerunner. He is currently working on new material and is interested in the idea of the muse, the psychoanalysis of dreams and the poem within the poem.



petrified ammonite: hypoceras elegans says the sticker on the back
Somerset: 190 million years BC (before concrete): before us

Suilven: it’s a dumb show: mountain and scree: saddle and mysterious wall
what the eagle knows: the eagle keeps close

dressed and undressed: mute weight: the earth and its satellite
keystones for arches: jasmine for fertility: quietly hid under the bed

sustain and decay: the ringing rock of Tiree: its unlit heart
David: for she who wanted: to bathe his calves in spittle

or around the necks of comfortable women: and on their fingers
Medusa’s gift to herself : Stac Polaidh: the stacks of St Kilda

brings them back from the beach: culpable and smooth: can’t help himself:
yet somehow they lose their beauty, on the journey home.


Wave and July

hair the colour of birch bark: she bathes
saw her at the Gulfoss: arms raised: at the Skogarfoss: behind a curtain

striding through the horses: the tourists off their buses
she does not stop: a wave crossing Iceland

head to thigh in mud: accounted now: the shifting of the trees
how long does it take to make a mountain: or the plates to crack

how long is July: those who move through it: how old
this way: she doesn’t say it: in a turnstone laughs

sweat on her breast: friend of curlew and snow goose
we search for the hot river: perhaps it is a myth: (only she knows)

nesting terns let her pass without incident: at the bubbling pit she checks
eyes uncovered and staring: naked and knee-deep

orchid: saxifrage: eyebright: gentian: all in culmination: heyday
curlicue river: oxbow: process not object: our one natural escort

pulling free: heads for the coast: new-born-cliffs and lighthouse
reaches the sea: transformation: dissipating rain and rainbow

perhaps if you stand still: (stop this time)
drop your map: see her.


moths (and witches)

did you ever wish to forget your own name?
(emperor) (dagger) (festoon) (footman) (deaths head)

living sticker on the glass (pale stigma) (madder pearl) (ghost)
your congregation: a fatal belief in light

for smelling of roses: wearing paint:
for not liking yourself: for being strong: she brought it on herself

her carnation: her flesh could tell a good man from a bad man
and they feared that: (drinker) (hawk) (lackey)

invisible in the flat light of day: that hunger: its danger
no thoughts of stakes and pins: (the handmaid) (the figure-of-eight)

hid among leaves of oleander: privet: spurge
we knew who they were: that they were slipping away: flying

it is with the falling of darkness: its shroud: its permission
(pale shouldered cloud) (sallow kitten) through and beyond the (black arches)

daring to love: being themselves: coming out of the shadow
waving: rippling: emblematic: (feathered) (mottled) (satin beauty)

we await your arrival: the candles are lit: the mercury lamps
new classifications: (no-means-yes) (flower-in-the-gutter) (the shorter skirted)

ashes and a twist of smoke: night’s unfathomable violence
at last the morning mist: real tears and he won’t leave



If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Knotbrook Taylor Poems

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.