The Places Carried With Us

Cove Park through the window
Cove Park through the window

Cove Park is a long-established centre and retreat for artists, supported by Creative Scotland and situated in the drama of Argyll’s sea lochs and mountains.  Highland cows wander past my window.  Rainbows flicker the length of the loch.  I’m lucky enough to be spending a fortnight’s creative residency here.

Cove Park Sept2013 003
Photos, postcards, ticket stubs, all before the Euro

I’ve come to write about journeys I made by bicycle back in the 1980s, so I’ve dragged along with me boxes of postcards, letters, journals, ticket stubs, faded photographs and the like.  And books by Solnit, Macfarlane, articles on psychogeography. William Blake, The Third Policeman and a large selection of poets I’m reading just now..,

Cove Park is full this week of artists, sculptors and even other writers and poets, so it’s been friendly and social.

And I’ve got lots of new poems drafted. Here’s a short one, from a long-ago visit in winter to the Royal Tombs in the half-ruined Monastery of Poblet in Catalunya.

Tumbas Reales

They lie, crowned, with their hands crossed, the Kings and Queens of Aragon.
Life-size and cold, on marble slabs above our heads.
The Monastery of Poblet is paving stones and dust.

A garlicky brother shows us the old dormitories.  He holds the door
while we add our steps to its echoes, leave our breath on its empty stage.
He blesses us,  the folds of his sleeve are green with age.

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