Category Archives: Sculpture inspired poetry


Fell To Earth Here (Fallen Christ Sculpture) by Jan Sutch Pickard

Fell to Earth Here (Fallen Christ Sculpture) by Jan Sutch Pickard

Fell to earth here
like those erratic boulders
brought over from the Ross of Mull
by the ice sheet:
covering a few miles in centuries
of scraping, grinding,sliding,
painfully commuting
before finding a footing on Iona –
rosy granite among grey gneiss –
out of place yet at home.

So this block of stone from Kemnay
far to the east:
quarried, commissisoned, carved,
came on a long journey, taking years:
resting here, welcomed there.
It was never a dolorous way
except for the last day
when gale matched grief
and doubt about surviving
this last mile of wild water.
But, care of Calmac, made it across
and fell to earth here.

Hit the earth hard
and ah, now it hurts
Jesus is falling
under the burden of the cross,
carrying our mortality –
the concentration of our fears –
crushed under the weight
of all those words
of hope and balme and power
we lay on God.

Jesus is falling,slantwise,
like salt rain before the gale
like sweat, like tears;
falling in silence
under a grey sky
and with barely a witness.

A stone from a long way off
is pinning him down here
on muddy earth, in a field of cows,
against the fence,
outside the vallum –
the boundary of blessing –
on common ground.

The glacier of time
crawls on and melts.

The stone has come to rest
where it will stay
while generations pass and pause:
deciphering its story,
seeing the skill that shaped,
the faith that carried it across the water,

the love that moved
maker and made,
carver and maker.
So this stray stone found
its place in the universe:
falling to earth here.

The Lion’s Return To Holyrood by Dr Donald Smith

The Lion’s Return To Holyrood – Dr Donald Smith

Hey big man, whit’s yer gemme?
Loupin intae Holyrood, snugglin doon
wi yer flowin mane aa curled.
Lik ye aye bidit here?
Ye’re granite set no volcanic lava
but the dormant hump o Arthur’s Seat
the verra double o yer- rump.
Lion o Scotlan ye’re back oan side noo-
whit a camsteerie stramash.
Twenty ton’ll no be easy shiftit.
Oan yersel big yin, lat oot a roar,
ye’ll rouse the whaill leevin warl.
For noo ye’re restin soond
weill come hame, beast o hert an saul
King o strength an peace.

Dr Donald Smith – Director of the Scottish Story Telling Centre

Choosing a Drawing by Stewart Conn

Choosing a Drawing by Stewart Conn

“I keep several hundred in a friend’s attic,
some so depressing you couldn’t face
living with them. Your best tactic

is to avoid preconceptions, then choose
whatever speaks most strongly to you.”
In charcoal whorls, an elephant and hippo,

baggy bulk conveyed by gradations of light
And shade; portfolios on biblical themes;
A series of Grassmarket down-and outs

drawn long before this became the fashion –
ghosted features left to the imagination.
At last I choose essence of sheep. Head down,

grey streaks scoring the flanks, a pink blur
across its back the only presence of colour,
it captures the ambivalence of nature:

one moment a celebratory leap into the spring air;
the next, the world’s weight, down-tug of gravity.
At the mercy of irreconcilables, I marvel

how in pen and ink or granite, he can impose
such order; through controlled frenzy, convey
the terror, and tenderness, of his inner eye.

Bloodaxe Books 1995

A poem inspired by the drawings of Ronald Rae

Stone Voices by Jim Hughes

Stone Voices – Jim Hughes

These stones will shout aloud,
More than pious sermons
or mute mumbles of apology.

Their voices cry with protest
at partitioned poverty and pain.
They groan with grief at solitude and loss,
and from the chisel strokes of steel on stone
they ring with resonance of hope
and love revealed.

Even as we remain silent,
these stones will shout aloud.

Jim Hughes

Golgotha by Michael Malone

Golgotha – Michael Malone

Her head shelters under the bridge
of a concrete arm. Lower limbs
crushed in silent squat
as if
the simple act of standing
would push up the sky
and make the stars fall in
to drown in our oceans.
As if
the simple act of standing
would colour the world
grey with lack.

As if
all she needs is my touch.
My blessing.

Michael Malone

Horse by Sheila Templeton

Horse – Sheila Templeton

Set free from grained granite to nuzzle
roughness of ancient rock into a soft
cheek resting on his own long spine,
in that warm hollow where man would
throw a saddle. He curves around
his heart space, the same space
I long for, to be held, absorbed
into grey granite beating. Feel lungs
expanding from stone, breathing
his breath, he breathing mine.
There can be no standing back,
no distancing myself to take in
his beauty. For I have always been
with him, running the Great Plains,
resting in the high holy places
of our earth, drawn for all time
on the soot and ochre walls
of the caves of Lascaux. Remembering
exploded stars. Remembering

Sheila Templeton