Two poems by Stewart Sanderson

    Photo by David Brooks on Unsplash 

 
 

    Peniel Heugh

 

Hounded from the burghs
at killing time
the Covenanters
hid their faith
up here, where nobody
but God could see it.

Forsaking mercat
cross and kirk
a masked man cried
on the assembled people –
a black ripple
spilling out over the hilltop.

Afterwards folk
would boast of having
gathered among
these whin-tasselled rocks
and listened to that voice
haranguing the weather.

Knowing nothing
of the certainty they shared
my boast is only
to have stood here alone –
a conventicle of one
for the wind to preach to.

 
 
 

    Flowering Hawthorn

 

Pink petals shading into white
amidst green foliage and dark
bourachs of branches, where the late
spring light loses itself in mirk.

All winter long, the wizened tree
was working secretly at this
new youthfulness: so poetry
forms sometimes, out of silences.

As frost hardened, the hawthorn turned
an ur-image of blossom over
in its sap: an image earned
through cold months, cradled like a lover.

So one night language might begin
to flower slowly in the mind –
nothing that can be written down
as yet, not even speechless sound.

Only a feeling: if you waited
patiently, the words would grow –
just so, the tree anticipated
wealth, stripped naked in the snow.

 
 

Stewart Sanderson

About Stewart Sanderson

Stewart Sanderson is a poet from Glasgow and the author of two pamphlets. Three times shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, he has received an Eric Gregory Award, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships. His first full-length collection, The Sleep Road, was published by Tapsalteerie in 2021.