Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Don Thompson

(Norman MacCaig)

His manuscripts must’ve smelled like cigarettes,
stained by coffee cup rings,
with notes to himself in the margins
about which lures to take
on the next fishing trip—
Dunkell, Black Pennell, Wickham’s Fancy…

I can hear him snort, closing his notebook
beside the Loch of the Green Corrie,
relieved now that the words
that couldn’t get through his clenched teeth
had forced his hand to scribble them
against his will.

Then MacCaig casts with a supple wrist,
deft fingers on the line,
never doubting which he prefers—
this or the other poetry.

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