Two poems by Richie McCaffery


The cricket club is a cow-field away
from our house, yet local lore
says a cricket ball knocked so far
for six in the 1950s smashed
one of our bay windows.

I can’t say if the ball was returned,
if it even crossed the players’ minds
that evening in the pub, of someone
far off, bent with brush and pan
at the frayed far end of that arc.
Robin and wren

In the morning we talk of the bird
that woke us twice in the night.
You think it was a robin and I, a wren.

It was high pitched and squeaky,
like the lid being teased off
a Russian-doll, or treen snuff-mull.

The bird calling behind the curtains
was both a robin and a wren
as we laid our heads down again.

Only in argument did it have to be
either/ or and I can well believe
it’s the same for greater unseen things.
Richie McCaffery (b.1986) was a Carnegie scholar in the Scottish Literature Department of the University of Glasgow, earning his PhD in 2015, on the Scottish poets of World War Two. He is the author of two poetry pamphlets – Spinning Plates from HappenStance Press (2012) and Ballast Flint (2013) which was the runner-up in the 2014 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His first book-length collection is Cairn from Nine Arches Press (2014). He is busy editing Finishing the Picture: The Collected Poems of Ian Abbot for publication in 2015 by Kennedy & Boyd.