Extracts From Skald

ISBN: 978-0-9558340-6-6

Extracts From Skald

Here is a taster of some of the Poems in ‘Skald’ (Koo Press, 2009).

Viking Spring
This: barley green as grass
swaying in gusty May;
its clouds of brandished blades.
This: ghost-blurs from the coast,
hoar-brained crows cawing, haar
fingering the halting
hearts and limbs of lambs
willed to life on the hill.

And this: wing-whirr of geese,
wind-arrows in narrow
formation confirming
sea-currents still foment
their baleful heat, hot blood
and gold-greed still breed in
the mind; sea-wolves still found
fine steel in hearts: yours; mine.

His Ring
Not gold – gilt silver that
glowed like those gleam-haloed
stone-encrusted crosses
grabbed from Christ-cold abbeys
in southern isles; his scythe
in fields of yielding oats
braiding circles of light; not
death-willed – bteath-filled, ice-bright.


The hall waits; a silo
listening for launched missiles:
hurled keels cresting cold seas.
Wheesht, heart, terror unleashed
is simply a stored dream
of swung blades, flung fire-brands,
thatch spitting, glass splitting,
mind-seams parting; your dream,

your blues, your slow-worm fuse
sparking the dark, switching
its lit tail to and fro.
Theirs too – may their snared guts
re-coil, turn cannibal,
cold spine-fluids shudder,
torn from dreams by sirens,
tom-tom riffs, clifftop fires.

Ian Crockatt

Ian Crockatt is a prize-winning poet and poetry translator, and an experienced reader of his own work and translations. He was awarded Scottish Arts Council writers' bursaries in 2004 and 2008. His sequence of poems Original Myths (Cruachan Publications 2000), with illustrations by Scottish artist Paul Fleming, was nominated for the Saltire Society's Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2000. His other poetry publications include Flood Alert (Chapman Publishing 1996), The Crucifixion Bird (Northwords Folios 2002), Blizzards of the Inner Eye (Peterloo Poets, 2003), The Lyrical Beast (CD with booklet, Salix Publications 2004), Skald (Koo Press Poetry, 2009) and Dawn Walk, with images by Wenna Crockatt, (Salix Publications 2014). His books of translated poetry are Pure Contradiction: Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke (Arc Publications 2012), Crimsoning the Eagle's Claw; Viking Poems of R?gnvaldr Kali Kolsson, Earl of Orkney (Arc Publications 2014) and Borderlands, A Child (Amazon e-book) by the contemporary French artist and writer Dan Lay. Pure Contradiction won the Society of Author's Schlegel-Tieck prize for the best translation from German of a book of literary merit in 2013. Crimsoning the Eagle's Claw, translated from 12th-century Old Norse, was a Poetry Book Society recommended translation in 2014. His next publication, THE SONG WEIGHER: Complete poems of Egill Skallagrímsson, 10th-century Viking and Skald is due from Arc Publications in 2016, and a book of his own poetry Red Cave Poems is currently under consideration. Ian and his artist wife Wenna live on a small croft in North East Scotland. Their booklet of poems and images Dawn Walk is available for sale at £6, profits to go to Scottish PEN.