The Carpenter’s Labyrinth

The Carpenter's Labyrinth


Musical language of wood:
plane and saw and feather
router chamfer sand dovetail
mortice tenon mitre
battens joists branders
dooblins hangers midrails
transomes astragals scrolls
stringers winders scribe
splice bullnose apron plate
at night the joiner sleeps and slips
into a maze of turns and braces
triple cripple studs glued and screwed
as pit props under sleep he scurries
beneath the varnished world
a mere mouse in the house of riches
his signature perhaps a spot of blood
or scribbled sketch or jotted sum
where no light shines beneath
a wainscot, skirting, architrave, while
no proud aristocrat spies it now
yet it shall make some future apprentice
wonder, pause and smile.

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Loch Ryan

Loch Ryan by RM-030715As the long waves roar
caress the endless strand
turn over shingle
sifted fine as sand
the age-old thoughts
now pace the boundary
that narrows out
where land and sea merge
in milky watercolour
for the first time finding
sized to fill my fist
an undamaged oyster shell
each to its aeon between tides
one life in the balance
empty, open, all pearls gone
silk mouth spilling only dust
a perfectly phrased question
to close the heart around.

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Corsewall Woods


Summer morning remembering
scintillation of boyhood holidays
the light of dawn fresh
and rich as local milk
glimpsed through fronds
of old tall trees, cool
from the whispering leaf shade
into unreachable brightness
across ripening fields
a white house distant
whose green hill conceals
the sea beyond, imagined

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Nocturnal Empire

Nocturnal Empire by Douglas Thompson-250615


Merchant City Friday night
urban rhythms as trafficlight
gridiron criss-cross zigzag
bass beat jazz blues
intersect stop start
rumble of passing cars
on cobbles, tarmacadam
red light, green, amber
ambiguity, uncertainty
tartan weave fabric pattern
waiters and waitresses
wending their way
bee-like between flowers
tables slowly blossoming
with people with adornment
of conversation that paints
the air in muted colours
dissonance twelve-tone
slow twilight and light rain
piano and trumpet
flirt, seduce each other
test talk circumnavigate
then come together
jarringly, melodically
gulls step the crow-stepped gables
inverted sky glimpse puddles
as time lurches slowly on
like a passing beggar the sigh
of dissipating traffic jams
remember to forget the time
and other debts gone bad
beneath the moonglow dial
clock face poker face steaming
the walking dead stalked still
by the reptilian tollbooth spire
black and bristling spines
of ledgers where our lives are writ
drink up the cost of love turned sour
and spit.

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Various News

Inheritance by Douglas Thompson-060615

makers gallery retroTime for an update on various bits and pieces of news. Since finally leaving my voluntary role at The Scottish Writers Centre a month or two back I’ve had time to pursue a range of personal projects. Three of my large canvases (including the one above, entitled “Inheritance”) will be on show and for sale throughout July and August at the excellent Makers Gallery in Alloa (Facebook page here). They do a very good coffee and arty sandwiches too and Alloa even has a train station these days (after a 40 year hiatus courtesy of the Beeching report) and some lovely old buildings, so go check out undiscovered Scotland in your own backyard.

Meanwhile Gesso Cafe in Glasgow have bought all six of my canvases which will thus remain on permanent display there for the foreseeable future.

On the writing front, I’ve been commissioned as one of 26 writers to produce “sestudes” for selected exhibits at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh. My poem will go on display there this winter.

Vatican VaultsAlso, publishers Constable & Robinson have just released on e-book the anthology “Vatican Vaults“, edited by David V Barrett, featuring a short story of mine about a fictitious meeting between the Pope and an alien being in which the absurdity of human behavior becomes humorously apparent. The paperback of the book should be available around late July.

Finally, I created a new website last week for the poetry and prose of my late uncle Alastair R Thompson, a huge lifelong inspiration to me whom I have mentioned previously on this blog here and here. You can now read Alastair’s entire 32-poem pamphlet “Persons and Places” on the new website, and I intend to post other poems from the private archives of Alastair’s work there, over comings weeks and months.

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The Submerged Princess

The Submerged Princess by Douglas Thompson-reduced


She is Lilith, Guinevere,
Judith, Salome, Vivien
of Brocéliande, Avalon and Ys,
princess, queen of Eden lost
beneath the waves of memory
Boudica, her daughters raped
by centurions of Rome
she is mermaid, siren
witch, virgin, whore, goddess
mother, daughter, sister, you
who lives in a world
oppressed still by the sterile
puerile, futile pride of men
bent on war and anger
greed and hunger. And yet
statement of the obvious:
all birth, all life
still emanates from you.

First and last goddess
buried sister free us from
the impotent lethargy of veins
taut too long around the flexing
muscle of the hardened heart
pluck your harp strings, draw
the shell comb through your
loosened hair, set free
your ancient music of sense
and faith to feed a man-tired world
with notes as birds to weave
their charm upon the dew-bright air.

Posted in Archeology, Art, History, Photography, Poetry, Psychology, Travel, Writing | 2 Comments

The Moon Of Totems

The Moon of Totems-by Douglas Thompson


When I sleep
the absent ones come back
dead there again at my side
in silent camaraderie.

How graciously
they refrain from resenting
how we’ve been getting by
without them.

It’s just we turned around one day
and they were gone. But they
I am surprised to learn
are always looking forward.

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