At the Allen Ginsberg Party in the Forest Cafe, Edinburgh. organized by Claire Askew. Starry Rhymes, and me reading 33 Lines for Ginsberg. 3 June 11.

Beatiest of beats let me address you
as you America. Let me bless you
charleychaplin poet that you are
like Ferlingetti spreadeagled in air
like Sandberg in Chicago like Burroughs AWOL
as you build up your argument to howl
at the barriers and choices in all existence
your words' steam engines go the distance
freshness and fury and spirit all churned
together till somehow they have learned
to answer back as good as you get.
No one has shouted down America yet
and made America listen and pause.
You move inexorably clause by clause
explain to America where to get off
with a smile and a laff and a wave and a cough
as you smell the world 's most exciting flower.
I'd rather think of you in Morden Tower.
I like to think of you reading there
with your beat poet friends in the city where
I was trying so hard for the ordinary life,
not to be a poet and not to write,
(and about the same time in London town
Denise Levertov wandered around)
what, not be a poet, what a waste of breath,
what a crime, what a sin, what a loss, what a death
and whatever my country its state or time,
Ginsberg you gave me permission to rhyme,
for politics, passion came down to this,
the word was the sword, just word with an s,
a reason to dance and a madate to sing,
a line to scribble and a truth to bring,
to throw your mantle over everything is an amazingly useful site. I have used it fairly often for finding poems of all kinds, and I am now in process of listing selsected earlier poems there.  Thanks to Sheena Blackhall for encouraging me to take this step (June 2011)

A poet like me has poems all over the place, and it is very difficult to collect them together.  Many are on the web, and some of those in webzines can be easily linked with.  Others have gone out to email lists and may never be seen again.  Others appear in magazines or anthologies, in exhibitions or pamphlets, and others again, the easiest to find, are in my books. Others may only have been read at poetry readings. In 2010 The Poem Wild Boar was published in Gutter (Glasgow), Exodus a single poem from a new series Anderson's Piano, in Cabhsair/Causeway (Aberdeen), and poems in anthologies celebrating Edwin Morgan and Elizabeth Smart. At end of year my sequence "A Burrell Tapestry," written a couple of years ago, is ready for press.  I have some ladscape poems due to go on a poetry and photography website in january. I had fun writing clerihews mid-year, on George Szirtes' facebook clerihew bonanza.


Iris Murdoch
tried to write like John Locke
but was better at stories
than mores.

(and many more)

Very occasionally I publish prose items. Vair No 1, 2011 contains my essay on Sandie Craigie, the Edinburgh poet who died in 2005. There's an account of Angus Calder at Grindles Bookshop in Chapman 110 (Dec 09) and a piece about editing Poetry Scotland here. You might also enjoy my short true story, Sharon, Pearl and Fuckin Dave, on the start here blog on this site..


Wonderful golden beech trees line the autumn roads on the way to Gatehouse of Fleet, between Dumfries and Gatehouse, near the forest and village of Ae.

The poem below, which I wrote after learning from Adam Horovitz of Adrian Mitchell's death, has now appeared in the anthology of poems for Adrian, published by Markings and doubly launched at the Scottish poetry Library and at The Bakehouse, Gatehouse of Fleet (Oct 2009). I visited Gatehouse of Fleet to take part in their event and had a wonderful time. Afterwards, a fabulous dinner for twelve produced by Chrys at the apparent drop of a hat -- I could see I had met my match as a caterer.

A poem about print, i.m. Adrian Mitchell
                              [Wednesday, 31 December 2008]

"Death singles out the great,"
and as this year's low sun subsided
it singled you -- and the untrodden airwaves,
the fluttering impulse of internet
and clatter of movable print locked in cases
and blocked into pages of books --
the thump on the desktop, another pamphlet,
laser printed, hand-folded and sewn
in fabled back-bedrooms of little press offices,
at the forefront of speaking and writing,
for people, by people --
and the rhythmed babble of poets
as they speak out, and write out --

All this stopped dead for you just before Christmas.
We all stopped in the week we would have stopped anyway,
as your image and influence readjusted itself
and was seen for what it had always been --
brave exposure of lies, the music
of "buttercups and landmines",
the shift of perception when a prophet
arrives in his own country,
in both our countries, overlong married,
permanent mutual lodgers, our languages
interwoven and melded
so we cannot untangle where one starts or ends --
the occasions, the years you spoke out for us.

It is up to us how well you are rewarded
for the hot spark of your words as they travel,
their iron.

Sally Evans

Gutter magazine published in Glasgow Issue 3, Summer 2010, includes my poem about poetry titled The Poem WILD BOAR, in which I describe the Muse as a lesbian and arts administrator, and am quoted of course on the first descriptor, though I suspect the second is more original. And here I'd like to repeat my statement in Fishing in Gairloch (Looking for Scotland) that "The three subjects of poetry are love, death and poetry."


The Salley Gardens, in Oban.

A poem written about our visit to Oban on the evening of 17 June (purpose: to see a midsummer sunset). Revised and left uncertain on a note of my facebook page, where I occasionally publish other new poems. There is a later Oban poem there (and an earlier one in my Bewick collection).

Isolated by road closures south of Crianlarich,
the Republic of Oban welcomes us with junior pipe bands,
who practise to the delight of strollers
past tied-up ships from Stornoway and Stavanger,
closed tea and shellfish booths, as the last ferry
departs for Mull and we, the battered romantics
who still believe in Oban, are stranded.

We hear the pipe bands separately
then together again as we circle.
One is playing William Butler Yeats. A rainbow
appears over a murky southern cloud,
a late-night blue and white sky to seaward
as the sun begins to drop towards islands
whose sole purpose is sheltering the bay.

Rainbearers darken the pulpit, the look-out benches.
A piece of rusty machinery lies in the sea.
Beyond the frontier of the islands
the north-west sun sets pale but satisfactory.
We picnic and collate the words of Yeats' anthem:
... take life easy as the leaf grows on the tree...
then steal away on routes still open.


Sally Evans

Here is Yeats' Poem

  Down by the Salley Gardens

Double sestinas here (both pages) and my sestina on The Feast in the Barn is on the first page, but the second page you reach....

An old favourite: Shoes from the Sea

This was one of my first poems inspired by an artist'swork: Reinhard Behrens' installation Clearances, photos of which have been  used several times in book work since. I encountered it in the Edinburgh  exhibition and sent this poem to the author. It was the beginning of a long creative friendship. The poem was first published in the Portobello Reporter. Going back to it I can tell this is an old, early poem of mine but it reaches forward towards what will become my style. I think that's what academics mean by 'voice..' I think there is something Edwardian in my voice, hopefully neo-Edwardian.

Shoes from the Sea

Shoes from the rough icy sea
with voices chanting above,
boots of boys and men,
legions of sandals,
children crying and playing,
girls and men by the sea,
anklet and heel, tide-washed
salted uppers, the time
the the took to sweep them
as these shoes' inhabitants
communed with shore and sky.

Who has not walked by the tide
and seen, among seaweed and wood,
a wonderful sea-washed door,
a lost canvas, serviceable,
and who has not seen sleep
in the limpets and grains
a slipper, a woman's shoe,
a plimsoll, always singly?
The partner never comes
for the sea is lonely,
the shoe's owner a ghost
forever walking the sands
or wading the logn tides.
Now, if I see a shoe
by the shoreline, I know it anew,
shoe from the rough icy sea
with a voice to speak and cry.

Sally Evans

. Pond and Townscape on Bolts of Silk, August 2008

Masthead Sept.2008

 A poem from Northwords Now: this means I have had poems published in Northwords/NN by all its different editors over the years. NN is going on line with pdf, but how they'll manage it with their newsprint format I'm not sure:

The Hazel Thicket Filled with Wrens

old road
hidden from the modern road

runs parallel,
shortening river bends,

its fallen stones
and gappy hedges, grass

full of ghosts,
visible in emptiness,

horses, riders,
walkers, women, boys,

sad or singing,
local or long distance,

all outlasted
by the hazel thicket

filled with wrens


This won me the StAnza slam 07, and almost certainly the reading at StAnza in 2008 (though I was in the queue at the door.) It's a real performance poem: it appealed to the moment, when everyone was trying to get on Broadband, or had just got there, and it goes down surprisingly well with audiences - in 2007. I's topical and I wouldnt let it live too long, and it's also near impossible to present on the page. You'll see.


This is the dax that gets in the way of my dial-up.

This is the pole that carries the dax that gets in the way of my dial-up.

This is the man that goes up the pole that carries the dax that gets in my way of my dial-up.

....This is the postman in the morn / who delivers the parcel all tattered and torn /  that contains the router and plugs and cable / that lie in a clutter all over the table, / sent by the lady so friendly and kind / at the end of the menu to go on broadband, / that answers the number I have to phone, / advised by the man that goes up the pole / that carries the dax / that gets in the way of my dial-up.

When the Tyneside colossus was newly constructed (some time in the last century) Gerald England published this in the early webzine Zimmerzine. It is now available on archive here: The Angel of the North

This is one of my earlier net poems & tailored to the subject. Hope you like puns. Writeaway, edited by Tim Jarvis, is at (there are unrelated sites with very similar names).
Going for a Spin is here

First published in Briggflatts Visited, an anthology of poems about Basil Bunting, reissued in the revised Briggflatts Revisited, and now on One way and another it's been well and truly in print, which is all you can ask of a poem, really.



Twenty Best Scottish Poems 2008: Scottish Poetry Library anthology, online from St Andrews Day.
Scottish Arts Council Website: Poem of the Month July 2006
Webzines: Bolts of Silk, Sketchbook
Web anthologies: PK Magazine, The PoetryEtc Anthology.


in Twenty-Five Years of Naboland (Reinhard Behrens) 2 poems.
In The Lie of the Land (Perthsire libraries) 5 poems.
StAnza 100 Poets Anthology
60/60 : Hiroshima anothology
Positively Poetry
The Watergaw
Edinburgh - an Intimate City
Two Royal Museum of Scotland poetry anthologies
Poem Posters (RMS) and Poems by Prescription (poems in hospitals exhibitions


Chapman  102 and several others including Chapman: Woven by Women (1981)
Northwords, several issues, under the various editors.New Northwords. Markings. The Herald (several poems)
New Writing Scotland 8, Pushing Out the Boat (several),       
Zed20 (several), Chanticleer (several),The Red Wheelbarrow (several),Haiku Scotland, Akros, Iron, The Rialto, Envoi(several), NHI, (several), The Poet's Voice, Acumen