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The Floorshow at the Mad Yak Cafe

Authors: Colin Will

Published by Red Squirrel Press

ISBN: 9781906700225

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Colin Will is an established Edinburgh-born poet with a scientific background. He has chaired the Boards of the StAnza Poetry Festival and the Scottish Poetry Library. He lives in Dunbar, loves to travel, and sometimes writes and teaches Japanese and Chinese poetic forms, as well as leading workshops on many other themes. The Floorshow at the Mad Yak Café is his fifth collection to be published.

These poems take the reader on many different journeys: to Tibet, to the Mediterranean, to the mountains of Scotland and to the rockier shores of relationships, real and imagined.


I tread carefully on frozen puddles,
the nightingale floors of winter,
between the iron silences of rigid clay
and the stiff snaps of tall buff grasses.

Over the boulders there's a cool lagoon,
a basin where salt and earthy waters mix.
Here gulls clamour and the steady eiders paddle;
here swans pose, afloat on their reflections.

Where the fringes of beach and grassland touch
I find, in a stony hollow, not much of a corpse -
spotted leather, stiff, small, almost flat,
fur-patched skull, empty sockets, and still bristles.

I walk through the tight-wrapped town
to the leisure pool, scan the swimmers
at the deep end for a girl with grace
and eyes like frozen tears.


I'd be grateful if you'd
dismantle me with some care.
A slow process would be best.
I'm thinking dissolution, but not
as in monasteries.

No black powder to be used
in my destruction please.
Plug and feather sounds
much nicer. Crack me
along my bedding planes
(you'll find them)
where resistance is least.

Chip me away gradually
like Michelangelo uncovering David
from his hiding place
in rude Carrara marble.

Constant dripping
wears away a stone
but I don't think
either of us
can wait that long.

Slice me as thin
as tender lamb
falling into the pitta's pouch,
and cover me with
the toppings of your choice.

Best of all, keep doing
what you're best at doing:
pluck holes in my self-esteem
until I'm Emmental
without the cheese.
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