Monday, 18 February 2013


The poem ‘A Mesolithic Slant’ is in my recent poetry collection ‘All the Invisibles’ (SPM Publications)

The other day a friend phoned, interested in the idea in my poem about dining with angels. She asked me what I might do and say if an angel came to call.  I don’t know the answer to that, apart from thinking it would be essential to show welcome and hospitality as angels in stories and films appear to act adversely if not treated well.

I was also asked if I had any particular angels in mind in my poem. The answer is probably the ones who came as strangers to Abraham when he was in his tent overlooking the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (the angels were on their way to check these and other cities out with a view to total destruction if insufficient good men and women could be found). They also gave Abraham the startling news that his post menopausal wife, Sarah, would give birth to a child. When Sarah was told of this she laughed scornfully, thereby angering the angels.

More than this bible story though, my imagination was caught by the paintings of Roger Wagner, an artist whose work I love, particularly ‘ The Harvest is the End of the World and the Angels are Reapers’ and ‘Abraham and the Angels’.

Here is the poem and the images.


He’s on the cusp of revolution though he’ll never know it –
any more than voles in the barley who’ll breed a Scottish line.

All he can tell is that his world
(his scary and stinking-of-animal world)

is threatened by settlers who savage the pine
and turn wild boar into pig.

Just so does sunlight
shove its small beak through an earlier fog, lifting its face

to brightening air, like one who unwittingly
dines with an angel and cannot

be sure, for the rest of his life, if it’s fear
or elation he’s in.




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