Light accentuates dark.


In winter dawns

I turn on my lamp

and morning rolls over to midnight.


Dark accentuates light.


Relinquishing gloom

I am dazzled

by the lustre of the universe.


It doesn’t matter that

the house burns down in the night

in a preemptive attack on murk.


It doesn’t matter that

hope’s slim candle splutters

on its see-saw dance with dread.


Only my light,

which accentuates

and is accentuated

by dark,

shall pass.


©Angus D.H. Ogilvy


Walk now

as you would walk

that first time on the moon,

each step an exploration in



©Angus D.H. Ogilvy


On the Island

Held with me

between the shock and the wonder,

an oyster-catcher strutting

with his hands behind his back

voicing his concerns,

blowing his vexations

through a child’s first piccolo,

charging with his carrot of alarm.


I watch him conjure

nightmares in the evolutions

of his three stone eggs

to shrivel seaweeds on the shingle bank

that he might dupe a passing crow.


Endless activity and frustration:

always the invention of another thing

to do, another fear, a found distraction,

lest a lurking nothingness confront existence,

reveal itself as certain as a cliff.


Better to be

with the dullness of ignorance

sheltered in conformities of stone.


Better to be

scurrying the greywackes, an anti-hero

screaming decoy presence as a charm.


Caught between the shock

and the wonder,

between the sea and its arc of emptiness,

wind decides the attitude of water,

wipes its moods across a passive sky;

brushes with the linger of a whisper

something that I ache to hear,

but cannot hold,

and ponder why.


©Angus D.H. Ogilvy



Cloud wipes the moor like a scullery cloth

that never dries; a mildewed caravan

huddles by a breeze-block byre, disused, and

casting slates into the burn’s fermenting froth.


Fences rust on the peat bog; pastures pocked

by marsh grass; ancient run-rigs rut the land,

their ditches full of dim. Like a webbed hand,

a tipped tree reaches roots in rigor, locked.


Grieved spirits of the undeparted drape

the stunted hills, and tempt the midday stones

to glisten should a lustre but escape

the lidded sky, allow the land atone

for troubles done; for I could not mistake

that cottage with its plywood blindfold groan.


©Angus D.H. Ogilvy


Angus Ogilvy



Angus D. H. Ogilvy

Angus was born in Glasgow, grew up in Galloway, and was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee. He has had a career in education which included 25 years as an international school teacher and administrator in Spain, China, Nepal, Indonesia and Zimbabwe. Since winning his school poetry prize in his youth, he has had an abiding interest in poetry and his poems have appeared in various publications.  He returned to Edinburgh in 2008 and spends his time writing, doing voluntary work, and addressing conferences, seminars and symposiums about the patient experience of cancer using his poetry as an aid to communication. He has recently published a collection of poems, Lights in the Constellation of the Crab in aid of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.



  1. Mark Both Avatar


    Wonderful poems 🙂
    I’m going to have to look up Coruscation in the dictionary though!

    My apologies for being a tardy transmitter of greetings.
    i count the trek around the rim of the Khatmandu Valley as one of my best travel experiences. Only time I’ve seen the Restautant at the End of the Universe!
    I still appreciate your hospitality and friendship during that time.

    Since my last transmission after my workplace incident many years ago, I’ve settled on the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns, and now work as Regional Arts Officer and Gallery Director for Tablelands Regional Council, espousing the benefits of creativity in its myriad forms.

    I’ve been hosting Poets Breakfsts annually at the Tablelands Folk Festival since the early 90’s and performed similarly at Woodford FF for many years too. (google either) Have been working on a travelogue poem too – five episodes containg puns on Aussie place names.

    I’d like to keep in touch after the long absence.
    Hope to hear from you.

    I’ll look you up on Facebook too.

    Mark Both, The Travelling Swagman

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