Day 5: Our winning Poet-In-Residence

Last month we ran a competition to find a Poet-In-Residence, inspired by our experiments with other disciplines. We asked participants to submit poems that comply with a set of ‘rules’, similar to those that we would set our actors. We were keen to see if the boundaries that often result in creative, innovative ways of performance can also work for poets.

Below is our winning poem, as judged by Baz Productions, poet Wendy Cope and Shakespeare scholar and poet Lachlan Mackinnon; establishing Joan Stansbury as our Poet-In-Residence.

We would like to thank all who took the time to enter. Wendy and Lachlan both commented on the incredibly high standard of the work which made it a very tough decision.

Many congratulations, Joan!

The Second Witch’s Daughter

by Joan Stansbury

They’re advertised as sisters o’ the blood

that hae the second sight: ah dinna ken

if they are blood-related, or just share

a lust to bathe their arms in steaming blood

up to their sweaty oxters. If our Mam

has killed a pig, there’s barely blood enough

for uz to make our puddings syne the eldest

has taen her bucketsful – Mal’s a scrounge

for tripes and chitterlings and liver scraps

for her and for her ither self, the cat,

spitting Greymalkin. Jings, the greedy quine!

The tale is tellt she stole a wifey’s chestnuts:

angered there were sae few, she blew the husband,

master o’ the Tiger, oot tae sea

where he nigh sterved for cold and griping hunger.

Oot o’ the three, Mam’s the professional

at magicking: me and my wee brethers

appear and vanish in a smither of smoke.

Sometimes, it’s like a play: she gies us croons

and kingly robes and that, and lerns us words

to drone in ghosty voices in the dark

to frighten folk, and then they’re put to flight

in a hell of jumping fireworks. That is braw!

Sister three, though, she’s the real weirdo.

She pickles fingers, leathers lips and noses,

bottles at gibbets felons’ sweaty terror.

A tiger’s umbles hang beside the hams

(though Mammy says tis nothing of the kind).

Folk clype her the Dafty: me and the weans

cry her a curster title, oot o’ fear.

She’s Beardy Bogle far as we’re concerned.

I wish ma mither would not sort with Aunty,

but mebbe she’s as feared of her as uz.

The wee lad boasts that when he is a man

he’ll kill the Bogle! Hauld your wheesht ma bairn,

gainst she overhears and witches you

faster than Mam and Puddock can unloose.

    • Pete
    • September 30th, 2011

    A worthy winner, Joan. Congratulations!

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