Canzone 4

For Bob Hunter

I am your eyes now, imaging memories,
Amiens, Ypres, Flanders and the Somme;
And in my secret world the pale dawn holds
Out her hand bearing gifts that sight unfolds;
But you have seen men in the sacred rites
Of death, limbs twisted, bones broken, flesh from
Bodies burnt and blackened, who have come
Out of makeshift shrouds and bitterly cried;
Youths, bloody and sobbing, who wanton died,
Sleep, young lions, in the soft oblivion of time,
Lonely, in valour’s field, as church bells chime.

 

The Micht O Maikles MacKenzie

On Meeting the American Poet Joseph MacKenzie at Springside, near Kilmarnock

Ah, vagabond of a thousand lovely songs,
Dawn declares of an upstart’s unfettered foot,
Farewell to sleep, and you who blithely uproot
Night Norsemen, come challenging what charm prolongs

Those pert nuances of the dark-drowsing night,
Where trooping gnomes, in garish-coloured bonnets,
Hum in harmony and break into sonnets
Forged from splayed sunbeams, glittering like starlight.

Dusk will find your stealthy footfall silent, gone,
Like a thief of thoughts that shapes, by and by,
Daffodil, rose, snowdrop, the gladioli,
Spring plants at your dancing feet and departs, anon.

And here am I disturbed simply by loss of sleep,
Not by Winter’s frost, or fiercely drumming rain,
But by you, and I know that you had called again
To banish stupor; my song-sourced verse will keep.

Ever gentle jongleur, of the silken voice,
The echo from your harp births a virgin song,
Though silent singing enraptures not the throng,
Strum softly, if you will, let a bard rejoice.

 

Residing in Scotland, Sam Gilliland is a champion of Lallans (the Scottish language) poetry and a recipient of Sangschaw’s prestigious MacDiarmid Tassie. With three previous collections of poetry published his work in Scots includes A Rickle O Banes (Penny Wheep Press). Founder/Secretary of Ayrshire Writers & Artists Society the organisation became the home of The Scottish International Open Poetry Competition, to which he devoted twenty eight years of his life as co-administrator and judge.


NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who harasses or disrespects you. Simply send an email to submissions@classicalpoets.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comment or comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society.

5 Responses

  1. Bruce E. Wren

    Excellent poetry, that, along with that of MacKenzie’s, are among the best I have read so far on this site. Congrats.

    Reply
    • Sam Gilliland

      Thank you, Bruce. I’m sorry to be a bit late in responding. Wee bit negative for a while due to personal circumstances. Aye & aye, Sam.

      Reply
  2. Leo Yankevich

    These are imaginative exceptionally well-made poems, skillfully metred and rhymed.

    Reply
    • Sam Gilliland

      Sorry to be so late in expressing my gratitude, Leo. Personal circumstances floored me for a while. Aye & aye, Sam.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to James Sale Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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