August 01, 2008

Poetry Friday: Not Clever

Getting in Touch with our Feminine Sides

It's morning and it's just the two of us

in the Transit crew-bus, driving out to work,

past dew-hung spruce, in this neck of the woods.

The floor is strewn

with chainsaws, chains, tools, grease-guns, tubes of grease

while the whole van stinks of sap and two-stroke mix.

I would screw my oil stained Maxproof coat up

into a ball

and try to grab some kip but today I just can't sleep.

And it's not the jolting over pot-holed roads

or the flare of light that's keeping me awake –

I'm worried sick.

Geoff is smoking pre-rolled Holborn roll-ups

by the barrow-load. He flicks the greasy butts

out of the narrow window slit and says,

frankly, not much.

The towering Sitka spin by, blue and gorgeous

in the warmth of the brilliant, early morning sun

and it's all so picturesque that I am overcome

with a desire

Read the rest of Tim Turnbull's poem here.

I found this collection of Best Scottish Poems, 2004 just casting about on the Web for modern Scottish poetry. I love the language; "Not clever," is a disparaging phrase I hear often here. This struck me as especially funny as I once made a statement much like this in my teen years, and my father heard me, and there was a great kerfluffle. He thought I was disrespecting my mother, sainted motherhood, something. Still strikes me as all very amusing.

Poetry Friday rolls on! If you're interested in hosting, October dates are available. Today's host is The Well-Read Child.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

That's a new one for me too. Perfect turn. I like the build up and tension building to the last punch. Thanks for finding this and sharing it!

I'm tipping my hat to you for cluing me into where PF is today. I was lost. I'm so glad you are my early morning poetry buddy.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Is that a rather bah-dum-ching ending, or is it just me? (Not BAH-DUM-CHING!!! but sort of bah-dum-ching with a bit of gravity).

I love that. Only here would I be reading modern Scottish poetry, but I'm glad.

I love the juxtaposition of all those mechanical tools vs. things like the blue and the gorgeous and the "dew-hung spruce." I know, I know, I just said "juxtaposition." Nerd. But it's true.

Anonymous said...

I agree with jules about the ending. But it made me giggle... guiltily, as I felt I should have more sympathy for the lad.

Mary Lee said...

The understatement of your photo choice makes me smile.

Kelly said...

Very cool poem, Tadmack. Thanks for sharing. (And thanks to Phoenix Sky Harbor for the free internet!!)

Charlotte said...

I love the ending too!

But I wish we'd found out if he did or didn't. I hate it when authors leave me hanging...

tanita✿davis said...

Charlotte, let's just say no. It didn't happen, and he remembered the rats for the rest of his life.


Cloudscome: just go to Kelly's site ( and she always has the whole list of hosts!