Read Raw Ltd

 

Promoting Creative Writing in Scotland

 

Poet of the Month

 

Jim Ferguson

 

 

Jim Ferguson is a poet and prose writer based in Glasgow.  Jim has been writing and publishing since 1986 and is presently a tutor with Easterhouse Writers' Group in Glasgow's East End.

 

His collection "the art of catching a bus and other poems" is published by AK Press.

 

For the past 6 years or so Jim has been writing, among other things, a biography of the Paisley poet Robert Tannahill (1774-1810).  This work entitled A Weaver in Wartime, though unpublished, has now been completed.

 

He hopes an edition of his selected poems will be published soon by Tragically Flawed Books.  He has a spoken word CD entitled ‘QUIRKY’.

 

 

 

The Art of Catching a Bus and Other Poems by Jim Ferguson (9781873176283)

Jim Ferguson is well known in the Glasgow area as a performer of his own work. The Art of Catching A Bus is his first book of poetry, though his poems have appeared previously in numerous pamphlets and periodicals.

The Art of Catching A Bus expresses Jim Ferguson's personal and political anger and commitment.

Written predominantly in the Glasgow dialect, Jim's poetry challenges anglo-centric notions of expression and emphasises the power of the language of his native city.

 

 

 

 

A selection of poems from Jim

 

 

OLIVES

when i had cash

and duly purchased

some olives stuffed

with pimentos

the olives were mouths

the pimentos tongues

and they spake unto me thus -

look out to your future

save your pennies

for one day soon

ye shall be skint

 

 

Wings and a hat

a song! to be sung aloud badly with improvised tune

There was a man with wings and a hat

Strode down the aisle of the train

With his wings and hat -

And he asked me as I sat quietly

‘What kind of syntax do you use?’

I smiled at him with a little surprise and said

‘I’m sorry I don’t drive, I go on my bike

Though occasionally I take a taxi.’

Then just like that, he flew off down the aisle

With his wings and hat –

The hat was square with frills on the brim

And other folk sneaked a glance at him

As he hovered over their heads and said

‘What kind of syntax do you use?’

‘What kind of syntax do you use?’

 

 

by no account was it gonny be blackness

for James Kelman

back of the cupboard,

dust, grit, mental mini white moths, 

auld redundant shoes

mouldering in the dark

no gonny be worn again

should really just bin them…

bin the fuckin shoes

ya daft auld bastard

…but just canny dae it

gotta just keep them

just let them be there

buried in the back

behind the hoover

and broken umbrellas

and obsolete pc.s

and all for the sake of…

all for the sake of the memories

of the ones that you love

who are never coming back

no saying anything ever again.

still, a nod at they auld shoes

is a religious moment,

giving the worn and much loved dead fuckers

that i loved and loved and loved

another wee second of time

…a small reminder of the heart in your life

a sad refrain:

come back love i’m greetin intae the grave

come back loves, i’m greetin

come back loves i’m greetin intae the grave

come back love, i’m greetin

and putting these auld shoes on ma feet

just tae walk a wee bit like i did

when you were wae me

walkin sure, walkin wae strength

into what we thought of as

our totally unmissable future

 

 

Lament that choruses through your broken heart

(a monologue concerning the bombing raids on Gaza by the Israeli’s, December 2008)

Lament

lament that

lament that choruses

lament that choruses through your broken heart…

Understand understand, can’t, see the connection

the lamentable love song, the lament that choruses through your…

tells you that it’s breakable  …heart, broken and re-broken,

repaired again but never right, nothing to do with ..

not related at all to ventricles or valves, or even a pulse, not even a pulse,

not related to the pulse but merely what the pulse is thought to be,

what it’s thought to be inside, inside the head,

a part of a mind that’s broken,

emotionally, hence the tears, that’s why the tears,

it’s not the heart that bleeds nor the eyes that weep but the mind, all inside the head,

the noise too, that was what it was, what it is,

golfers worried about their ears when teeing off, using the driver,

meantime, elsewhere, where there are no golf courses but only rubble,

the construction around the rubble, that which,

that which envelops the rubble and the dire smell of bodies,

the dire smell, acrid and sweet, nauseating and attractive,

surrounding the constructions of rubble is that familiar sound,

not that of golf balls being swiftly struck, but the sound that envelops the rubble,

that sound,

the sound, sound that we know, sound that created the rubble in the first, place,

instance, and the same sound it was, understand understand,

the same sound that caused the heart to break,

to break and bleed and that sound it was, that sound,

that was the noise that caused the bodies to break and for those whose bodies,

those who were not chopped to fucking bits, put through,

those not put through the mincer, those not through the mincer of explosions

but .. remaining,

remained yes, somehow that heart still beating, still, still the functional aspects, yes,

those still intact, those not blown, not blown to fucking bits, not severed or torn,

those who remain the “widow’s tears and orphan’s moans,” those who remain that,

understand un… stand, stand beneath the bombs, or huddle, down on hunkers, trying,

got to, got to protect the ones you love, don’t want to be here, under the, under the bombs,

surrounded in all directions, enveloped, enveloped in all, in all that sound, carnage and ..

carnage and the rest, the smell, scenes from an unimaginable future, yet

out of the mind and the actions too,

there was another, human, yes, human, one who drops the bombs or causes the,

causes the ..

those who are responsible human beings who cause the… aaaaaggghh, the sound,

that sound that envelops, that moves all through, all through, through, everything turned to,

turning and turned, all just rubble, rubble shot through with chunks of flesh, human flesh,

domestic pets, farm animals, wildlife, flora, fauna, everything all just,

just chopped and thrown, tossed onto, onto and into and all becoming the one,

the one great and bloody mess,

that’s what happens, happens to the heart, and the tears,

tears of the beating hearts, of those who remain,

and the others, they’re dead, and the yet others, the responsible, what of them,

human too

human, being also even at a distance or on tv, too also and as well all too breakable, but ..

no one can touch them, only those surrounded by the sound of the horror, only them,

they understand .. understand

understand it is not all together easy, not to weep, to keep from ..

to keep from breaking, all in the head, the noise, the explosion, the pressure,

huddled down, got to, got to huddle down, relentless, it’s the sound the sound yet,

relentless, there it is ..

sense it, about to arrive, frightening, relentless, coming to turn everything to rubble,

relentless, anticipating the … terror in the anticipation,

expectation, even, though, of course not great, alas, sad,

but here, huddled, amongst not only rubble, but rubble shot through, relentless,

rubble, plus all that organic material, hearts, lungs, legs, eyebrows, eyelids, finger-nails,

and the weeping and wailing, another sound to add to that of the bombs,

no laughter here, not really no, nothing funny,

the possibility of a little laugh catches in the throat, brings one to cough, she coughs,

he coughs, they cough, people are coughing, coughing because

to laugh would be too ridiculous, careless, indeed, if not wanton cruelty,

wanton cruelty to have to learn to laugh again, afresh, start afresh, …

how we have been brought here, to this noise, all the… aaaahhhhhh, cacoph ..

cacophony of breaking hearts, broken hearts, not all in the mind, not, not just ..

a lonely eyeball and sliver of skull-bone balanced, balanced very neatly

on the edge of a boulder of concrete .. and the lamentable love song,

…the lament that choruses

lament that choruses through

lament that choruses through your

lament that choruses through your broken heart

      

no kind of haiku ataw

aw right

no long noo

weelbiwellpished  nwarrm

 

 

There is some more poetry from Jim in our poetry section

 

 

All poems on this page are the copyright © of Jim Ferguson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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