DAVID ROSS LINKLATER is a poet from the Highlands. He is currently studying an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. He is the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award and was shortlisted for a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2015. His work has appeared in The Grind, The High Flight, RAUM and Ofi Press, amongst others. You can follow him on Twitter: @DavidRossLinkla

RK WALLACE lives in Paisley. He recently co-edited Laldy, a local anthology, and also co-runs a monthly open mic literary event; the facebook group for this is “Nights at the Round Table.” 


The Landlady isn’t Dead, Just Moved Somewhere Less Terrible

Coffee and thunder, my mail is rejections,
a dental check-up but no plans.
Feeling the flat peaches feeling the sun,
starting up silver cars and opening telephones.
Right hand spinning a coin as it coffees and thunders
distant voices in song, Avocets diving.
A photograph of everything, a willingness to lose
over and over as the forests season out and in.
I haven’t organised so much as believed there’s time.
I used to be a tree in the mid-morning full of leaves.
I used to be a robe of chrome revered.
Now it’s all gone, how are you?
A garden overgrown on account of the tenant,
the tenant ever-underserviced near neglected
withers away and gone; the rule the streets wear is faceless.
Blonde dog wearing a lightless lamp post,
more potent, more bitched each day.
Looking for a softness that goes against grey old men
and young wild things like leopards, the pamphlet creased
in circulation, increasingly contorted with each pair of hands.
Today it looks fine, no bends, fairly sleek,
as if last night it was simply realising it was a pamphlet
before settling into its inheritance, as I have woke to mine.
Phone the landlady, she’s not dead but I have this feeling
that curls at me, points and shaves it’s time to leave;
chested drawers brewing, Colombian coffee crackling the glass pot.



Four-Legged Christ

Roger, why do you always find me
on the door step, head in my hands?
It’s dark, I haven’t seen you in a year
but I would know that bouncy back-end anywhere.
The village is quiet, thinnest peels, nothing with a name.
I just sat down with bare feet, there’s a drizzle
beginning or ending, I have the fire going in there
between the fingers, seagulls move over the house and down the rocks.
And here comes Roger prancing, tail going, backside swaying.
He’s always catching me at the least opportune moments.
Last time I was a blaze of pasts, the time before that,
a pair of blue hands turning colder door knobs.
I’m going to have to make changes that last longer, Roger.
Walls will be stripped, skirting pulled like mad hair from
the floor she weaponised, her split-ends full of hallucination.
I hadn’t known just the depth of her night shade
and so I sit today on the doorstep of my home, Roger at my heel,
waves against the beach lit with froth and jelly.
At some point the point breaks, driven like an animal
to its edge, needling the sweet dark shores, folding and rolling back.

                                                                                                           David Ross Linklater


Northern Ireland after the Referendum
(For Theodore)

Your name,
translated, “gift

from God.” You pointed your eighteen month old finger,
like Angelo’s Creation of Adam,
in order to touch mine
as if I had some magic power
for you to inherit,

like when the little boy said goodbye to his friend
in an old movie I once watched as a child.

For what it’s worth I may as well have been
an alien from another world.

You were just as curious at the sound
of my voice
as you were about the reason for
my general presence.

Both strangers. In the end
I couldn’t tolerate her explosive Northern Irish temper,
and she couldn’t deal with my stubborn will
to be independent of her cruelty.

Scotland voted for us

to stay together.
This means, for now, we remain
as part of a family

of nations.
All I ever hope for, however, is that

I will simply never become foreign to you.

                                                                             R. K. Wallace


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.


  1. […] five other shortlisted poets – Michael Grieve, Kirsten Kerr, David Linklater, Paul Malgrati and Stewart Sanderson – each receive […]

  2. […] Nadine Aisha Jassat, Peter Ratter, Alycia Pirmohamed, Colin Bramwell, Michael Grieve, Kirsten Kerr, David Linklater and Paul […]

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

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