Makar Press

Michael Malone: The Man Himself...

 

 

 

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr.

 

He has published over 150 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet Laureate for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

 

His work has been broadcast on Radio Scotland, Radio Clyde and BBC Radio Coventry and Of The Blue And Green was included in an educational pack for Glasgow’s schools, put together by the charity against sectarianism in Scotland, Nil By Mouth.

 

Michael was the Scottish Correspondent for the writers’ reference magazine Writers’ Forum, he has worked as a Writer in Residence for East Ayrshire Council, Kilmarnock College, Wellington School, Ayr Academy and is regularly invited to talk to writers’ clubs throughout Scotland.

 

Recognition for his work includes twice being awarded 3rd place in the Constable Trophy; winning first prize in the Pitlochry Prize (for an unpublished novel) for Blood Tears; and first place in the Dorothy Dunbar Poetry Competition in 2008.

 

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website Crime Squad.com and you should definitely check out his blog, May Contain Nuts.

His debut crime novel, Blood Tears will be published in June 2012 by Five Leaves Publishing

 

Art In The Park

 

They wur in among the trees, ahint the big hoose et Rozelle.

Richt there oan the grass, like they’d drapped frae a plane.

Huge they wur. Huge wae effort. Huge like a god’s thochts.

-Whiddye mak o’ them? ah asks ma wee boay.

Hud tae drag him away frae the black boax,

afore his een went widescreen.

He pints, finger oot like a dirk

 – Dad, that one has a big butt.

- Furgoadsake. You watch way too much telly, son.

‘N the word is arse.

He jist luks up et me n’ says

– Whatever.

 

The Yoke this wan’s ca’ed. He’s hunched ower.

Heid awa tae the side, like Gourock.

Ah move closer fur a guid look.

- Dad, let’s find some branches, so we can play at sword fighting.

Ah run ma hauns ower the granite. See, ye think it’s gray,

but up close it huz a’ these speckles o’ black, n’ flashes o’ green.

 -Dad, I’ll be Darth Vader, the wean skips ower

wae twa sticks.  -Who are you?

- In a meenit, son. Am huvin’ a moment tae masel’.

Noo, he’s juist starin’ et me n he says

- Whatever.

 

See, son. It’s aboot Jesus n’ his pain. Bit it’s mair than that.

Nature’s ge’in a haun’ here. The stone’s gray like a sufferin’ sky,

n’ the trees are stretchin’ their airms oot tae share a touch.

Tae soothe. The earth is aroon the base reachin’ up

tae pull the granite back in. N’ see here, moss and lichen

 …n’ wid ye luk et that? That lichen is like a rid stripe

doon the statue’s ribs. Whaur a wound micht huv been.

 

Ma boay stoaps wavin’ his sticks aboot,

 - Dad, I cannae believe you are actually my dad.

Ah jist luks doon et him n’ says

- Whitivur.

 

 

Wounded Knee

 

My black trousers stumbled to a point half way

to the skull-grey cap of my knee

while I steered my way through the corrals

of school playtime, avoiding the gunslinger

glare of bullies, who’d queue

to lassoo with threats.

 

Pencil point stabbed between my shoulders,

beef-jerky breath in my face

and a low growl in my ear…

….as soon as the bell rings, you’re dead

 

I was faster than any of them

Knees and fists pumping the air,

I was the best rider

the Pony Express never had.

A half-breed scout, I wore

a Colt pistol under my belt

and an Eagle’s tail feather in my hair.

A combination that won

neither friend or foe

from reservation or ranch

 

A fall…and the bony plate of my knee

became a wound with hard baked gravel

ground under the torn and grieving skin.

 

I grew my thumbnail especially

for that moment when the scab was ripe,

when the blood had hardened

to a brown as deep as the colour of apache skin.

 

I would tease off the scab…

…until baby pink skin winked in the sunlight,

fresh for the next gallop across the prairie

and the race into the unreachable horizon.

 

 

Eisenhower’s Mother

 

She stood anonymous in tweed

among the audience of families,

and behind the press and flash

of the world’s media

as the general stepped back onto

star-spangled soil

 at war’s end

 

Pulling her handbag

into a hug.

she aimed quiet words

into the ear of a mother at her side.

‘I too have a son with the army.’

 

Around her the morning grew  into itself,

and the sky cleared

save for a solitary cloud

like the shadow cast

from a giant owl aimed

at the heart of the sun.

 

 

In the Raw

 

This was Michael's first collection, which came out in 2004.  

 

It is available to purchase through the Makar Bookshop on this website at a cost of £5, which includes free postage and packaging anywhere in the UK (and for a small additional sum for foreign buyers).

You'll find it in the 'Poetry Pamphlets (assorted)' section - just select In the Raw from the drop down menu at the bottom then click add to cart. 

 

 

Contact Michael

If you want to get in touch with Michael, you can email him at michael@makarpress.co.uk.