Heron of Hawthornden is published – now as a Grey Suit Editions UK special illustrated chap-book. I wrote two dizains a day for the length of my 2017 residency in the castle. The sequence is accompanied by my own water-colours. Click the link for availability.
Our very first breakfast. Tardier than the rest,
I sit alone at the narrow elm table,
Terribly ancient; eating my porridge with Sucrose
Purchased in Tottenham. Not quite as fit
As I ought to be; recovering from a twisted knee,
Everyone else now busily writing. As I finish
What’s in my bowl, the elegant dark-wood Windsor
Chair, stately and antique as our patron, who is
A hundred and three, gives way beneath me.
I clutch at its arms, but still… it collapses, albeit gracefully,
Taking me with it, spilling me onto the tartan carpet.
This elicits apology. However, I’m encouraged not to fret.
This veteran’s been rickety for ages.
Hamish will fix it. Yes, but the peg at the top of a leg
Splintered, I’m sure, as we keeled over.
Clearly that chair has now been put paid to by me.
What a way to start a residency in a precipitous
Castle, a castle where silence is de rigeur until our
Convivial evening fare. I must watch my step
As well as how I sit. There is a dungeon below us here.