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Volume 2 – Issue 3 – New Poems – Tom Leonard – Scottish Review of Books
by Tom Leonard

Volume 2 – Issue 3 – New Poems – Tom Leonard

October 28, 2009 | by Tom Leonard

Litany: Blair’s Britain

to seek the truth
is to foment terrorism

to call war state violence is to foment terrorism

to question the news is to foment terrorism

to press the mute button is to foment terrorism

to call Bush fundamentalist is to foment terrorism

to study Blair’s hand-gestures is to foment terrorism

to shout “Down with Castlereagh” is to foment terrorism

to think “the universal human” is to foment terrorism

who dines with Blair?
who dines with the journalists?

to play tennis with Lord Levy is a jolly good show

junk language surround us junk food comfort us

American foreign policy domestic monetarist policy

pray for us

CBU-72 cluster pray for us trident nuclear jolly good show

to be free from fear
is to foment terrorism

to feel free within
is to foment terrorism

to foment fear to foment fear to foment fear

is Blair’s Britain



Myths in these parts (2)

He’ll come down the chimney once a year and put presents

under the tree. Then he’ll have a bite to eat, before going off

back across the sky
in a big sleigh driving his reindeer.

When you waken up
it will be the middle of the night,

you’ll charge through to the room see your stuff lying there

and you’ll shout: Santa’s been!

The Eff word

I have always felt a great antipathy to the Eff word.


It really rubs me up the wrong way.


Wish You Were Here


not doing whatever it is they do
when they’re not here

as to announce
they are not what they are in their other place

and the glass bottomed boat leaves from the pier
in half an hour


nobody cares if
the moors or the martians

lived here
in the thirteenth century

somebody [they say] has been here

that morsel of history

comes with the chips and the pork chop

the young people here for their hole
and the beer

—they have the right idea


a local mother and her child
a local man smoking a pipe
a local dog lying in the shade
a local somebody going about their work

how authentic


never so easy –

having pocketed where you have been

wandering on
with semi-certainty to show in future

the particular place
you put your stethoscope to what it was

you had been told was there


only the children


where they are who they are

to tourist and local of tourist and local

and the function of the adults to give them all their time


From this Issue


by Tessa Ransford

Kill and Be Kilt

by Hamish Whyte

Wee Yin and Big Yang

by Hugh MacDonald

Blog / Discussion