Garry Stanton

Rookie - 71 Points (March 16,1964 / Edinburgh, Scotland)

Second Hand - Poem by Garry Stanton

I reach into a Grandfather Clock.
The parlour is still,
without ticks
in this dead afternoon hour,
and smells quietly of
cooking apples,
honey, blackcurrants,
Broons books, yellow, and archaic
National Geographics.

I feel a spring inside, my head
awkwardly angled. I fumble.
Through the ancient sash I see
the Strath, glowing in October
Ancestors glower in sepia.

The last bluebottle throbs
and bobs. Bumps against walnut.
A green-eyed orange feline,
fat, retired,
in, then leaves, bored.
I hear him
pad down the hall, boards creaking.
The mice are no longer
in danger here.

My great-grandfather
is seventy-eight in 1961.
Red of whisker, Pictish, strong,
he steps heavily on a rusty nail,
hammered into a plank
by his own great-grandfather.
It hides in chickweed,
this killer,
and by November his tick has ceased.

I fumble again. Pull. Twist.
The old clock seems to shake
And rock. The pendulum lives again,
an arthritic

Ancestors smile gently.
‘Well done', they grudge.
‘Just don't let it go to your head, young man.
Whoever you are'.

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Comments about Second Hand by Garry Stanton

  • Duncan Mackenzie (10/14/2008 4:44:00 AM)

    Love the briskness of this poem. It's language is economical, bare, but evokes richness of imagery. (Report)Reply

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  • Mamta Agarwal (10/10/2008 8:52:00 AM)

    you have really created an atmosphere well, very graphic and vivid imagery.
    the pedulam lives again an arthritic rhythm. lovely10

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Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 10, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 15, 2013

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