FOUR POEMS

Cartography

 

Following the old maps, he arrived

just where he had planned to be.

The landscape conformed to interpretation:

that hill, those clumps of trees, the village gathered

around the bridge.  He saw the things

he’d expected to see, given the forecasts,

the time of year: the lone fox and the raven falling.

 

He wasn’t prepared for the motorbike

coming screaming round where the road forked right

in a curving descent over spreading contours

to the valley floor. Nothing could indicate how to turn

avoiding oblivion, the uncharted plunge,

the way time stretched through the flick of an eye

to a sound and a light in a circling loop;

but he did.

 

©Angus D.H. Ogilvy

 

 

 

As Moon

 

A long sweep passing since

I saw the moon

as moon.

 

The flare of summer,

town horizons,

cloud-cast sky ways;

all the moot excuses

I assume.

 

I see it now

 

moon as moon

 

gravid with harvest

 

rising in the crisping

of a fading afternoon.

 

 

©Angus D.H. Ogilvy

 

Love Tea

 

Flavour

intensifies

through the second

and the third infusions:

don’t use boiling water; avoid

sweeteners.

 

©Angus D.H. Ogilvy

 

Edge

 

You never know where you might find your edge,

and, spun by vertigo, flail to grasp

the crumbling earth, snatching at sparse

scrub wedged by twisted roots for rootless legs,

jarring the panic wilding of the heart

to sudden stillness.

Then, how to move from

that tight, cold spot, exposed, alone, remote,

hemmed between yawning emptiness – the space

of the possible – and the tyranny of place?

 

For this is the test.  It doesn’t matter

that it struck as you’d hardly begun to

feel those slopes beneath your feet, or after

turning from the top for the long descent;

it’s how you will open, what your intent.

 

©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.

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