preparing Sandie Craigie’s poems for publication

typing the words

ever so slowly

her Edinbury dialect

and spelling

coming uneasy

to wasted fingers

and west coast brain


but in my head

I hear her voice

and see her clearly

rocking to the rhythm

of these potent lines

that make me weep

and laugh in turn


seven long years gone

and still my eyes

seep torrid tears


the fear

the horror

the love


no more than

memory now


the pain in my gut

a sharp reminder

of what is lost

paper hat man

when it begins to wear out

he will make a new one

sometimes it’s a black and

white newsprint affair

all those stories on his head

both sad and bad

with the odd humorous

or human interest tale

snuck in to lighten the load


sometimes it’s a glossy

magazine page

colourful and terribly chic

like today’s model

sporting fragments of models

stiletto heels, sleek hair

some elegant clothes and

half a muscular torso

tucked into numerous folds


but always the same design

a neat little pillbox of a hat

above the unshaven face of

the local roofer who laughs a lot

tells jokes and funny stories

and is just a wee bit crazy

from too much sun

up there on the rooftops

day after day after day


Crassie, the paper hat man

an eccentric and welcome

addition to our village life


it was a hard existence

lonely and full of pain

and now that it is over

who will remember?


Petar, it took a while

to get to know you

and I wish that we

could have shared more

conversation, communication

now it is too  late

but I, for one, will not forget

and bid you a fond farewell


this cold and cruel world

is no place for one like you


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