Category Archives: Sculpture inspired poetry


Child’s Play

Sun burnishes the granite,
a blessing on the stone
making it warm as human skin
but still as hard as bone.

Sculpture of the Fallen Christ
like an erratic boulder:
a child at play has clambered up
to perch upon his shoulder.

She rides upon the solid rock,
joyfully, safely there:
rough stone supports her hands and feet,
the wind plays with her hair.

I see a place of refuge
for a troubled little girl:
God’s back being broad enough to bear
the weight of all the world.

Jan Sutch Pickard – Wild Goose Publications


Tap tap, it is the waking time,
The long release comes not from me,
I am no chick to crack my shell
but need the midwife’s hands,
tap tapping out emergence with their pain and skill.

Even deep in sleep I held a dream of sky,
Of how I’d shape and lift my head
to my old stardust home
of aeons and aeons ago.

And now I feel the swirl of air, the damp of rain,
I see the moon and sun that rise
and light the sparkle of my back
where I will welcome children
who with their dreams will ride me,
call me by name, and give me soul,
for I am Emily Bear.

Jenny Melmoth

Your Refugee is Weak and Vulnerable by Andrew M Hill

After viewing Ronald Rae’s granite sculptures I couldn’t but contrast their strength, solidity and endurance with Ronald’s weak and vulnerable drift wood refugee in St Mark’s Unitarian Church, Edinburgh –
Andrew M Hill.

Dung Beetle’s belly is solid and hard
Your refugee’s runs soft as lard

Bison, bison firm and strong
your refugee just tags along

Highland Cow stalled warm in granite
your refugee cold roams the planet

Tyger Tyger still burns bright
your refugee has nothing to light

Bear living free on rocky heights
your refugee knows only plights

Mother and Child held firm in stone
your refugee is all alone

Boy with Calf carved now forever
your refugee hasn’t even forever

Horse and sculptor for ever as one
your refugee is always undone

Wild Boar with a Severed Snout
your refugee has nought but nowt

Sheep wool warmed on granite crag
your refugee is bones and rag

Vulture and Carcass, chiseled bones clean
your refugee is grubby and lean

Fish and water swim free over rocks
your refugee sits lockedin in stocks

Flight into Egypt captured in stone
your refugee is always alone

Man of Sorrows weeps stone tears
your refugee has nothing but fears

Fallen Christ too heavy to rise
your refugee just lives and dies

Animals in War, granite rock hard
your refugee is string and card

War Veteran’s honour, a special carved name
your refugee is just one of the same

For Ronald Rae by Liz Penny

As you listen to your angel music
you absorb the shock
of each hammer blow.
Steady the tool in your hands
which knows how you long
to lose the physicality of it all,
how tired you are
of mechanical thought.
Long practice of seeing
all that there is leads
you straight to the chase
of each crease and fold
the breathe and flow
of love at ease in stone.
Lost in the rise and fall
between here and there
a bird sings on your outstretched hand.

In search of a granite stone from Carsluith Old Quarry

Brutally blasted
From the granite hillside these old stones
Once naked and vulnerable
Now kindly clad
In Nature’s green velvet coat

Where once
Brightly coloured bulldozers and clanking cranes
Jostled for centre stage
Now an arena
Of scattered fallen rocks
Evidence of a battle fought and won

Now we
The intruders enter the arena
And wonder at what has gone before
Silence is broken
We clamber over the ancient stones
And tangled undergrowth
To discover the chosen stone

Then the decision
Do we disturb this chosen one
And raise it up to be
A standing stone
We leave the sleeping giant

We walk away allowing Nature
To continue her silent healing
To turn this gash in the landscape
Into an earthly Paradise.

Pauline MacDonald

I.N.R.I. (Fallen Christ) by John Davies

I.N.R.I. by John Davies

There’s a rock outside the Mac
With a man’s head on it
Seems to have fallen from the sky
Like a tailless comet

Landed with quite a bump
That airborne gent
One eye tight closed in a painful wince
One eye wide open with the shock of the event

This chunk of Kemnay granite
Shaped like a human shell
Whiskers neat like a Holywood Jesus
Or a tidied-up John Bell

A cow approaches it fondly
For this is her new scratching-post
She rubs her golden neck along its edge
Dispelling all her itches to the coast

Four letters mark the granite base I.N.R.I.
I ponder their meaning initially:
“It never rains on Iona?”
Or perhaps what that cow is doing:
“I Nuzzle Rock Indolently.”

Great Bear Day by Jenny Melmoth

Great Bear Day by Jenny Melmoth

The Bear swings in at seven tonnes,
A little late, but heck,
when you are 470 million years old
what’s an hour here or there?

He hovers in his slow trapeze,
clears the trembling hedge, and
nose uplifted
chooses his position;
precisely where he’ll stay.

Majestic, he allows his carers
to grunt round him,
releasing his protective harness,
risking themselves
in service of his freedom.

Thoughtfully he scents the air
this will do.

Lion Of Scotland by Stewart Conn

Lion of Scotland by Stewart Conn

granite carving by Ronald Rae

Its supple marriage of muscularity and grace
first envisaged at Tillyfourie Quarry
where the workers believed they could trace
an imprint in a block of Corrennie granite,

this 20-tonne stone transported to Cramond
and worked on for over a year: the sculptor
inspired as never before – detecting a gift
from the gods, the culmination of his career.

Now regal brow and mane, curved
flank, rippling haunch and great paw
are invested by hammer and chisel
with the spirit and dignity of lion.

Symbolic energy source, its roseate
stippling vibrant in sun and rain, how fit
to front our new Parliament – looking out
on Arthur’s Seat, that other lion couchant.

Stewart Conn – Makar of Edinburgh 2002 – 2005

Ronald Rae-Sculptor of Granite by Laura White

Ronald Rae – Sculptor of Granite by Laura White

skilled with hand-tools you cut and hone
intrigued by local stone – a snare
feldspar granite – igneous stone

sunlit abyssal-quartz light pink stone
a stone fly’s wings shift flit and flare
adroit – with skill you cut and hone

mallet and chisels shape flesh and bone
place landmine victim’s lost void stare
feldspar granite – unyielding stone

widow woman pensive alone
wrinkles reflect sacrifice and care
life portrayed – determined you carve and hone

compelled to sculpt your fame is known
the dying elephant’s sigh we share
in feldspar granite – hard hard stone

crystal rocks from volcanoes thrown
now – boy with calf – horse – and wild bear
genius with tools you shape and hone
feldspar granite – the hardest stone

Bumblebee Press 2001