Look, Breathe by Chris Powici (Red Squirrel Press)

Tears in the Fence

This 66 page collection of poems arrives with translations in Scots, Gaelic, Doric, Orcadian and a host of other Scots dialects – there’s Flemish and Dutch translations too. The main delivery comes from substantial poems written by Chris Powici which have been transcribed, essentially, by Scots poets into local speech. The result opens a rich soundscape of regional locution.

Chris Powici’s poems find unity through a field of concerns that connect in time, space and locality. His poems put a finger on particular synchronicities of observations, memories and experience that manifest, mainly through acts of nature.

‘Lamlash Nights’ (p.52) begins with gulls settling for evening that, ‘put their faith in café roofs / and car park walls / even the little iron-coloured waves’, the observation broken by the playful thought of grabbing nearby anchoring chains and hauling in a small boat or even the local ferry, complete with a cargo…

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