This poem first appeared in Scotia Extremis (ed. Andy Jackson and Brian Johnstone) 07/11/16
You brand me Very Difficult, as if I’m here
to challenge men who fritter days in stuffy
office blocks, evenings in provincial sheds
Sundays crawling up the backs of gods.
You peruse my Munro kin like bridies
on a buffet tray, but I’m the tricky bugger.
I make you strain with ropes. I don’t flinch
at your pitons. Gobs gape at my drop,
arseholes pucker tight as drawstring hoods.
I can’t be Bagged like a tin of shortie
or a bottle of scotch. I’ve felt the shifting
of tectonic plates, cracked and shuddered
through glacial drift. I’ve watched clans clash
like stags, flags indecipherable with blood.
Rain will rust your bolts, their fine red dust
tossed by the wind like ashes. You may fancy
your eroding steps superior to any other
Tommy Tourist’s, but watch your back.
I’m born of lava: my jutting jaw a blade’s edge,
my basalt skull treacherous when wet.