Three little poems from song cycles based on the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum’s rich collections of artefacts and paintings, and recently premiered there. The poets, in order, are Clive Wright, John Coutts, and Colin Donati.
LAST FLIGHT DEPARTING
The Stirling Head of a Lady of the Court of James V
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A cherub at her breast denotes her passing
See how she wears full livery
of vivid rainbow colours, and yet,
for the flight of her life, her cheeks
are made up pale, eye-brow arched
as in surprise her lips open…
there, tucked in the cockpit of her breast,
the Pilot Cherub sits, holds tight…
hearts flutter under wings of silk,
ready for take-off, ready to fly…
till earth and all this world Goodbye.
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD
You took a piece of plastic from the dresser
And tried to wipe your brother's tears away.
The well-bumped head was four years old: the ill-
Controlled and clumsy hands were less than two.
You almost wiped his eyes, and having done so,
Dropped the crumpled plastic on the floor,
This, my son of several words,
I shan't forget. This was your first observed
Unselfish act. I watch you in the garden,
Feeling the grass between your toes. Already
You give unguarded love. At nineteen months
The wobbly child aspires to play the man.
ANCIENT AND NOW
the new and the now
and the only constancy
to see for the first time merely
merely to be born
and to die
as impossible as death
the only constancy