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First published in Great Britain in 2002 by Canongate Books Ltd
A superb new collection of haiku and other short poetic forms on the theme of Glasgow – its people, landscape, culture. As always, Spence is uniquely illuminating, witty and delightful. Incorporating some of the poems which appeared decades ago in the much sought-after collection of the same title, Glasgow Zen includes mostly new material from this highly popular and exquisite poet.
GLASGOW ZEN Alan Spence To Edwin Morgan CONTENTS Glasgow Zen Jingle Joshu’s Mu Japanese Boxes Today Motorway Red Rag Paddy’s Sing Lorry Song Prayer Flag Silver Tarnish Eye of the Storm Loop Touching the Void Same Old As Light Seeing Mount Fuji EM Football Haiku The Pundits Glasgow’s Full of Poets After the Japanese (1) After the Japanese (2) Issa Ryokan Santoka Oracle Glasgow Zen (2) Coda GLASGOW ZEN On the oneness of
one in the morning light making the heart soar. She’s gone, and now, hours later he picks up the cup she drank from, presses it to his lips, a kiss. That surge of small birds across the sky, turning turning as one in the evening light breaking the heart. Burning her letter, he smells one last time the perfume she drenched it in – sudden incense, intensely sweet. Then it’s acrid cinders, ash. ISSA, RYOKAN, SANTOKA The following are versions, translations
following: Atoms of Delight (Pocketbooks), Back to the Light (Mariscat), Best of Scottish Poetry (Chambers), Botanical Basho (Botanic Gardens Press), Noise and Smoky Breath (Third Eye Centre), The Scotsman, Words, Writers in Brief (Book Trust), Spectrum (BBC TV) and Sound Poetry (BBC Radio Scotland). About the Author GLASGOW ZEN ALAN SPENCE is an award-winning novelist, playwright, short story writer and poet. Awards include the People’s Prize, Macallan Scotland on Sunday Prize, McVitie
inside the great void which sits inside my heart TODAY Today came spring -ing It took me by surprise, leapt and bowled me over like a big daft dog. on a train rolling through snowcovered fields, the bright sun scudding beside me along touching me awake to see. Today it came with crocuses open by hardfrozen tractortracks with daffodils, bent by the snow but Trumpetting with O the Sun and even, God, lambs Today came Spring. MOTORWAY RED Lorries pass us, kick up spray
as we drive through this grey dream, this other element, grey road grey sky edges blurred. Trees and fields fade grey away through rain; the world is washed out, disappears between the windscreen wipers beat and stroke / the systole / the diastole the beat, the beat that keeps us clear. We accelerate into it, buoyant feel real exhilaration. The grey waters part and LOOK, overtaking us it flashes fast past, a red RED car. RAG A black rag flaps, trapped against a branch,