STEWART SANDERSON was born in Glasgow in 1990. Twice shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award (2014; 2016), in 2015 he received an Eric Gregory Award. He was a 2016 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow. His debut pamphlet, Fios, was published by Tapsalteerie in 2015. He is currently working on a first full-length collection of poems.
MAXINE ROSE MUNRO is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. She has been published widely in the UK, including Northwords Now; The Open Mouse; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Pushing Out the Boat; and OBSESSED WITH PIPEWORK. In addition, she is a frequent contributor to The New Shetlander, reputedly Scotland’s oldest literary magazine, the first (and for a long time the only) literary magazine she ever read. Most recently she was one of the 10 shortlisted for the SMHAF International Writers Award 2017. @MaxineRoseMunro
Here is a word to keep
as carefully as you would
a pressed flower.
A word which in
a better world might well
Like lichen-covered teeth, these rings of stone
which mulishly refuse to disappear
into the machair and the moss –
a silent sign that there were others here
before ourselves; that though their names are gone
not everything they were is lost.
The terraces they carved out of the moor
then planted with a tough, ancestral strain
of barley are still there today
while here and there the seeds themselves remain
ungerminated under peat: a store
of Neolithic DNA.
Down in the dark, a flint waits patiently
for somebody, or no one, to retrieve
it from its hiding place below
the surface of this world on which we leave
marks of our own, whatever they might be
until the time comes and we go.
We have no champagne glasses that match
but we have champagne, and that’s a thing.
And time to drink is another. And though
the world be full of red and grey, I will
sit with you. The grass needs cut but today
was not made to kill daisies. Outside the world
is dark and chores unnumbered make
demands. Still in this bubble of glass
unmatched I will sit and hold your hand
Maxine Rose Munro
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