Gerry Loose


Gerry Loose






fault line(segment)




consider these lilies

what you talk about

when you talk aesthetics

& these sweet coils

woodbine razorwire




my fixed point of the hills

grasping peerless sunlight




states of matter

halogen lights

safely do away

with night & day

abolish the moon

barn owl

snatches song

all twenty four hours now

a siren

rock to my hard place

these men talk

to their lapels





mergansers dive


the bridge

see the water

see the bow wave





the streets are lined

today I found a penny

yesterday a pound coin

it’s on my shopping list

tea wine gold

that everyday hero


warned me





making the sign

of the cross

on that train

no other

he offers me wine




From: Sweeney Albannach

(Scottish Sweeney; Albannach is Gaelic for Scottish)


The historical Sweeney poems are ancient set of Irish Gaelic stories concerning a king who becomes a hermit and exile, hunted by his enemies, living in the trees and caves. In them Sweeney visits Scotland, but there is no record of what he did and thought there. I redress the balance a little here:






my poetry

is entirely made up

of the sounds of rain

on leaves




at night I

waken to myself

not there





plover fears me

flees on a path of air

clatter of dove wing

rising from oak

startles me to run

into the path of bramble

dread keeps us living




how do I move from the past

to present but

by the astonishment of a peewit

how do I move from the

present to the past but

by the twitching throw

of a pebble as I sink

into sleep the way a seal

slips back into the waves




Overseer of wind

narrator of air

conductor of skies




breath of your lungs

without memory












Gerry Loose is a poet and land-artist who works primarily with subjects from the natural world, as well as the world of geo-politics. His work is often to be found inscribed on wood and stone in Parks and Botanic Gardens as well as on the page. Among his most recent publications are Printed on Water, New and Selected Poems (Shearsman Books) and that person himself  (Shearsman Books) fault line (Vagabond Voices). Forthcoming is An Oakwoods Almanac (Shearsman Books). His awards include a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, a Creative Scotland Award, Kooneen Saatio Award and a Hermann Kesten Fellowship.

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