Richie McCaffery – three more poems


There are granite curb-stones missing
like the town is under investigation –
evidence for some child grown old
who cannot believe the photographs
of him playing in in the street
and how in the dusk the eyes ceased
to be king, dethroned by the ears,
how somewhere there was one stone
that made him fall, drew blood
but, for once, not a single tear.

The fob-chains of the Corrigans

The men stand starched in their collars
perched on clicked heels of hobnail,
one antler between the lot of them
cut into buttons to keep them decent.

Their paunches draped in fob-chains
of thick silver drooping from waistcoats,
two arcs mirrored in greased handle-bars
below unbreathing broken Roman noses.

The chains tether at the belly-button
a hunter watch and a vesta of matches,
time and the flames still held at bay.
They weed behind chained civic gates.


The skulls of lost sheep
that once grazed these hills
are found with flat teeth,
plated with gold-leaf.

There are traces of gold
in more or less everything –
over the thousands of pages
I’ve dragged my stub nib.

The value seems to be in
the living, not the finding.

Richie McCaffery is a doctoral candidate in the Scottish Literature Department of the University of Glasgow. His articles have appeared in such places as The Dark Horse, Études écossaises, The Scottish Literary Review and The International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen.

His poetry collections are Spinning Plates (HappenStance Press, 2012), Ballast Flint (2013) and Cairn (Nine Arches Press, 2014).

He recently finished editing Finishing the Picture: The Collected Poems of Ian Abbot (1947-1989) for publication later in 2015 by Kennedy and Boyd.


4 thoughts on “Richie McCaffery – three more poems

  1. merlin1941 June 18, 2015 / 9:04 am

    I really enjoyed these poems and not least the way in which, for all the relative universality of the first and third ones, there was a strong sense of place and period uniting the three. (The sense of a craggy Presbyterianism was never too far away!) I feel this gives support to the Clear Poetry policy of publishing small batches rather than individual poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ben Banyard June 18, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I like to share a minimum of two pieces by each feature poet to give a better flavour of their style. Very glad you’re enjoying it.


  2. Eileen June 19, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Excellent poems from such a fine poet, a pleasure to read these, thank you. Congratulations Ben, a very good poetry site.

    Liked by 1 person

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