At the Mither Kirk excavations, Aberdeen with Sheena Blackhall

Below the granite archway
he let us stand to gaze
as rescue archaeologists
disinterred some graves.

The scholars slaved in trenches
bent on their careful tasks,
scraped around with trowel points
and wore protective masks.

The stone kists' contents
carbon date he said,
to the fifth century - long enough
to rest in peace the dead.

They had six months to dig the site
and they were moving fast.
Polite and informative,
he answered what we asked.

Meticulous to calculate,
methodical to rob.
How could he see in two such wives
poets on the job,

in two such wives with pens for knives
another rescue squad,
raking around in coffin dust
to hand them back a word.

The above poem is from     The Honey Seller
2009 from Firewater Press, Bristol, published by Tony Lewis Jones in association with Poetry Monthly Press, and available from the Poetry Monthly Press online bookshop.
      (or contact Sally, see foot of home page)


This is something I havent tried before: home-grown Search Inside. Here are the contents pages and the back cover. If they come out well enough, I might think about adding a sample poem. But then again...

And here are the back and front covers:

For the historical record, Bho Leabhar-Latha Maria Malibran. Christopher Whyte's book of poems in Gaelic, with translations by several writers, to which I contributed 33 pages of the 65 pages of translations, including the title poem
From the Diary of Maria Malibran,
Malibran was an opera singer in the early half of the nineteenth century.

Published by Acair, price £1o

The collection contains poems on a number of themes, several about gay relationsh
ips, so I dont suppose Christopher would have wanted a portrait of Maria Malibran on the book, which has a blue cover (see below). However I found this one of the great opera singer. Other poems are translated by Niall O'Gallacher with one or two translated by the author, one by W N Herbert and one by Michel Byrne.