Rab Wilson and and the Valentine build-up – 22 January 2020

With all the Burns celebrations we were indeed honoured to have Rab Wilson, winner of many poetry awards and Makar, at the Club. Rab suggested the format as follows… the first half would be his response to the competition entries, the second half would be a writing workshop.
‘The best laid schemes o mice and men…’

Poems were as follows –

Chew Chew, a train journey exposing the horrors of close proximity to takeaway foods in a confined space.
Memories, a reflection of sad/sweet love.
The Humble Cuddy, the donkey’s perspective on the Nativity.
The Last Eagle of Glentrool, recalling the highs and lows of our time.
Skein, a wish to fly with the wild geese.
Growing, a simulative reflection based on the oak tree cycle.
Irrevocable Loss, an eloquent poem of the loss of a loved one, heartfelt.
The Washin, in Scots, a strong humorous tale of mother’s revenge:
Scunnered, in Scots again…a mother’s lament about her ‘adult kids’.
In My Grandmother’s Arms, a sentimental poem of lost childhood in half-rhyme.
Loch Maree, a descriptive nature poem.
It Gars Me Greet, Burns’ ghost commentary on modern-day ‘haunts’.

Valuable suggestions and advice were given throughout:

Take something obvious and twist it to make a serious point.
See how ‘big name’ poets write about similar subjects.
Have a strong beginning and ending and ‘say something’.
Be specific.

After the tea/coffee break it was obvious that there would not be enough time for the planned writing activity so it was suggested by our speaker that he’d read some of his poetry instead. This was a most agreeable alternative.

We heard Biggin, the dry-stane dyker’s precision was assimilated to the poet’s placing of words. The Pied Piper of Auchinleck, a great narrative poem telling the tale of Cathie Jamieson, stooshies and Buckie-drinking Neds, hilarious. Unacceptable Language, a computer rant about ‘offensive’ language which deemed all possible ‘arse’-related phrases, .which were then listed, as offensive whilst horrific words like ‘rape’, ‘famine’, ‘genocide’ etc were seen ‘acceptable’. The Blues of Harold Shipman, a reflection of how Dr. Shipman didn’t ‘get away with it’ yet this does not seem to be the case for Corporate Manslaughter.
These are only a few of the readings but I could not forget One for the Ladies and apologies if this is not the correct title. This was the humorous tale of a modern day Desperate Dan, in dungarees and rigger boots, at the checkout in the Somerfield supermarket, Cumnock, on 15th

February. As he placed a bunch of flowers in front of the quippy cashier she remarked that he was a day late with the flowers to which he replied, ‘If ye live wi me every day’s Valentine’s Day!’

Greta Yorke

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.