Monday, 31 December 2012

Here Endeth the Year

And so, I reach the end of this year’s sequence of sestudes.  I have spent many hours wandering around the Museum of Scotland, reading up on each object in the Research Library, and sitting in various nooks to scribble in my notebooks as inspiration struck.

I even visited the Collections Centre in Granton (on Doors Open Day) where there are a million-and-more pieces of treasure that haven’t made it into the Museum.  Maybe I’ll write a sestude or two in the future. I don’t think I’ll tackle a full hand of 26. 62 words may seem an easy task, but in fact it is a challenge – and a discipline.

For my final piece, I chose something that wasn’t there, that doesn’t exist. For the entire year, tucked away in a corner was a case that was, as the label said, ‘awaiting completion.’  As far as I’m aware, it remained empty, incomplete all year, giving me a concluding idea.

I’d like to end by thanking ALL the staff and volunteers at the Museum for the job they do.  It is a National Treasure, of which we all, whatever our background, politics or perceived nationality, should be proud – and visit as often as possible.

An Empty Case

Delicate as a coddled egg in my white-gloved
hands I place the future into an open kist;
a seed, an infant soul, an empty book.
Unpreserved memories-to-come, to reconstruct,
to renovate from un-materialised artefacts:
friends I never had, lips un-kissed,
the unborn child, lovers lost or yet un-loved,
conserved for now at least from reminiscence: this
is what I haven’t written. Look.

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