Jim Mackintosh

Jim Mackintosh is a Perth-based poet and has authored six collections of poetry, most recently Flipstones (Tippermuire Books, 2018). He is poet in residence at St Johnstone football club, and champion of all things Willie Soutar, Hugh Millar and especially Hamish Henderson, whose centenary took place in 2019.


Hamish Matters »

A celebration of the life and legacy of Hamish Henderson through music and poetry collected, written and inspired by him

Sun 8 March | 20:00 - 21:30 | £10.00/£8.00 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


for Hamish Henderson

Ma pace gaithered whaur the seasons gaithered
wi purpose an wi the bracken beggin me tae bide.
Ah’d nae destination tho a fierce ee oan the first o mony neu horizons.

Ma journey wid tak me far awa fae Ben Gulabin’s dawchy neb,
past the auld Kirk’s hally wirds – whaur every Amen
wis a beginnin fir the next prayer seepin oot fae kent herts.

I left hame uncertain but comforted wi ye aa in ma pocket,
wrapped in the lichen scrape fae the kissin stane o the gate
whaur the Shee rummels doon, whisperin mossy screivit vows.

Then a thoosan leaves exploded fae the path like puddy-doos
unfoldin in the countless days o ma uncertain traivels
through the cotter gate whaur ah paused an thocht -

Ae sigh in the feltie’s pain. Will ye aa traivel wi me?
Will ye no risk the comin rain? Ye’ll cry nae mair.
This ma vow.

Ah’ve ne’er fund the tippin point whaur sadness stoaps at the threshold:
the door jamb that haufs oor lives ‘tween the shaddy o nippit pasts
an journeys yet tae be unraivelled, maybe ah never will but ah ken

when ma imagination felt the grip o this ancient land an ah inhaled
its hunger so tae consume the sky an paint it aa the colours o humanity
an richt there, ma hauf-sarkit hert kent this wis ma destination.

Ah pit ma hand in ma pocket. Ye wir aa still there. Ah heaved ma bag
surely intae the rhythm o ma gait an ma journey in life began
whaur Strathmore unfolded its airms an lifted me up aa worldly

an ah heard the door close saftly in the jamb, fair pit-mirked
yet leavin a ticky licht tae lead me safely hame again
tae whaur the kissin stane still hauds ma thochts dear

Ae sigh in the feltie’s pain. Will ye aa bide wi me?
Will ye no risk the comin rain? Ye’ll cry nae mair.
This ma vow.

Jim Mackintosh