Tag Archives: Mairi McCloud

Poetry Week welcomes the enchanting Mairi McCloud

Etymology

The word Valid comes from the Latin,
(As so many words do),
Originally meaning
Be Strong.

I want what I am feeling
To be valid,
But I do not want to
Be Strong.

Love
Is not so simple as
Validity.
It may be Old Germanic
(With a bit of Latin thrown
in too, just for good measure).
It means many things:
Desire,
Pleasure.
But it is also a bedfellow to the word
Leave.

I desire to pour myself
Into another human being.
To fill up all their dark spaces with
Light and understanding.
To feel pleasure in their company
And in the fact that they are near,
And always will be.

But I do not wish to be left alone,
And I do not wish to be strong.

***

I think of you easilyMairi 3

It is such a relief
Not to care anymore
Not to have that painful catch
At the heart, that longing,
Never to be satisfied,
Whenever you are mentioned,
Whenever a picture of you is seen.

I used to dream of kissing you.
Sometimes that was all I could think about,
Your sweet mouth, and your skin
Touching mine.

And yet I feel a little sad
To discard you,
Push you aside like a used
And forgotten toy

I think you would care,
But only as much and no more
Than you always cared.

And that was always the problem.

***

The ghost in my flat

There’s a little girl who waits on the landing
below my flat,
between the second storey and the third.
She likes to look out the window
so much so that she is distracted
most of the time
by what’s happening in the back garden
that she doesn’t see me when I come out
and lock my red door behind me.

But when she does notice me
she stares at me with
large, dark eyes with a serious look
and silently berates me
for taking so long.

She usually stays there, on the landing,
sometimes by the window,
other times peering after me through the
rungs in the banister.

Only once did she follow me,
stepping on my heels
trying to catch up
letting me know
she was there.

***

Mairi 2

Crows

when they strut on the ground, look very grand
and stiff and self-important,
like fine gentlemen turned out in their best mourning
at an important funeral.
They don’t look comfortable,
but the do look important.

On the branches of trees they hunch their shoulders,
sharing conspiracies with each other,
rasping out warnings to the neighboring magpies
that shuffle nearby.
They are watchful, careful,
always on guard.

And when they fly their wings are a glistening array
of color: shimmering emerald
and a deep stain of indigo hiding beneath the black.
They curve through the air – graceful –
arrayed in the most beautiful of clothes.

***

MairiThough I was born in Utah, and lived into my twenties there, I have since lived in central New York (think rural: farmhouses, cows and the like) and am now currently living in Glasgow. I have been in Glasgow for about two and a half years, studying archaeology at the University of Glasgow. I find Scotland to be an enchanting place, and have yet to explore all its nooks and crannies. I have loved to write ever since I was a wee girl, and find solace and joy in doing so. I keep a blog, ostensibly for my family to keep track of what I am doing, though I love that friends keep an eye on it as well.

Connect with Mairi in Glasgow.

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The Old Ways, a poem by Mairi McCloud

Yes, Friends.

It’s that time of year

the time of the year grown old and restless

the time of the passing of all things.

The old year

not as our grandparents knew it,

but our earlier parents,

shrinking into the dark night,

waiting for the spirits that come

as the year from a forgotten calendar

passes away.

It’s that time of year when

the falling rain sounds like furtive footsteps

behind you.

When the angry wind wants in

at every door and window –

tries the lock and roars

when we turn him away.

I cannot see them, but I hear them.

They who come in with the wind –

that hide behind the falling leaves,

They whose voices crackle in the sharp

bitter air.

They come again, friends,

at the passing of the year.

Mairi McCloud

I was born and raised in Utah, which is a busy and growing place. However, the weather did not agree with me – and, well, it was time to move on – so when I was in my early twenties I moved to central New York to live with my sister and her family. They live in a beautiful, rural spot and it was while in NY that I decided to go back to school (I had heretofore avoided university). I had already been studying Scottish Gaelic (as most of my ancestry is Scottish & my siblings & I were all raised with a strong sense of that heritage) and, at the community college, became very interested in archaeology. So I applied to several universities in Britain, and was accepted to Glasgow University, where I have been studying archaeology (and Gaelic) for the past two years. Just this past summer, I was able to go on my very first dig! Every year I learn and love Scotland more! There are no ends to the nooks and crannies yet to be explored. See my blog, Over the Sea to Glasgow.

All photos courtesy Mairi McCloud.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Prose & Poetry