Clydebuilt 11

Clydebuilt is an innovative mentoring programme run by St Mungo’s Mirrorball in which promising poets are paired with an experienced mentor for a period of 12 months. The programme has been running for over 10 years.

This year the mentees are David Linklater, Frank McHugh, Roy Patience and Hannah Summers. Their mentor is the poet JL Williams ( We hope you will enjoy a taste of their work and glimpse into their biographies below. The group will be reading at Aye Write! 2019. Keep an eye out for them there and elsewhere in the new year.

David Ross Linklater is a poet from Balintore (Balti/The Bleaching Town) in Easter Ross in the Highlands. He holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, is the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award and was shortlisted for a New Writers Award in 2015. He has published three books of poetry, most recently Black Box (Speculative Books, February 2018). He lives and writes in Glasgow. @DavidRossLinkla

Frank McHugh writes poetry in both Scots and English. He also writes songs and plays. His poetry has been published in Acumen Poetry, New Writing Scotland, The Glasgow Review of Books, The Cabinet of Heed, SurVision, the Bangor Literary Journal, Bonnie’s Crew and The Runt. One of his poems was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the Imprint Writing awards 2016. His interest in poetry was ignited and fuelled by Philip Hobsbaum’s encouragement at the University of Glasgow to whom, like so many others, he owes a debt of gratitude. For a couple of decades, he read and stashed everything he wrote in a wicker box. Three years ago he felt inexplicably compelled to start writing in earnest and has just kept going. He is a teacher out of necessity, a poet out of compulsion and plays drums for fun. He lives on the beautiful Ayrshire Coast.

Roy Patience was selected for the Clydebuilt Apprenticeship Scheme 11, mentored by J. L. Williams. His poems have been published in Causeway/Cabhsair, Envoi, Gutter, Magma, Oxford Poetry and Tears in the Fence. Originally from the village of Hill of Fearn in the Highlands, he now lives in Glasgow and works as a freelance editor.

Hannah Summers is a writer, artist, tutor and waiter living in the southside of Glasgow. She has completed an undergraduate degree in Sculpture and Environmental Art, an MLitt in Creative Writing and loves exploring the places where these disciplines intersect. She has been published in From Glasgow to Saturn and has performed with the University Camarade.



Document 371

The sun is doing its June thing.
Quite oppressive, really, though
Sean says there’s rain due
and I’ll take that.

I’m doing my 6pm thing
to the bone. Neither of us are going
to back down. I’m thinking of the jets
you get up the road, low-flying
Tornados tracing the sky with powder,
how Bess would wish she had a gun
to shoot the bastard things down,
wrecking her peace to no end.

The sun’s raging against the paleness
of the world. I open another document
like the morning exposed itself.
Bared me, red hair, bus pass, two blues
and a half-pack of Amber leaf, no skins.

The living room is an oven, believers
and lovers have cooked here. I have
been both. I drink some orange juice
and draw the curtains. Sometimes I
just don’t want to be very much,
see anyone, do a thing.

 David Linklater
Originally published in DMQ Review




A polar, inorganic compound, colourless with a hint of blue.

But what if I told you it defies gravity
is a byproduct of star formation
was regarded by the ancients as the ylem,
basic substance and fabric of the universe?

Is at the wet root of the razing of Syria,
could extinguish the burning beds
of Aleppo’s annihilated children
and their eviscerated sieve of a city?

Says, taste the Barada, the twin rivers
Tigris and Euphrates, near barren
fallopians of ectopic Phoenicia
which taste like the loveblind tears of the Magdalen.
polar, inorganic, colourless

but with more than a hint of
the worried notes of the delta blues
the low swinging swamp blues, the rising highwater blues.

No water. No blues.

That hint of blue lubricated the suited and booted
in juke joints, muddied the waters
                                                                              when it
swirled apologetically in the cleansing bowl of Pilate,
                                                                              when it
slopped too full too full in the bowl the pissed off duty guard
pushed like an invitation through Mandela’s twelve bars.

Still does
when mixed into the reddening bricks of churches,
the transparent bricks of prisons.

Frank McHugh
Originally published in the Glasgow Review of Books





for Annie Macleod (b.1920–)

Fig-skin dark.
Wet boulders bulb
above the digger-ribbed ditch.

Wholeness of a world convened
in the orb of a dew drip hanging
from the tip of an apple-green shoot.

Succession of whins contending
the digger’s hydraulic tear, winnows
wind through the calyx, lodges

seed in the orb over there.
Birds loot the wreckage
for wicker that suits them best.

Earth and seed turned together
towards the feeding light. Mud and
moss and heather daub the wattle nest.


Doped with sun
the yellow-barred bees
fly the miles back. A moving mouth,

frightened lip, thrilled to pubic roots
names hive, honey, bee, bloom:
ground-breaking shoots.


Coconut-smelling balm
as the last of the sun makes
the whin kernels crack;

oystercatchers’ moment
of unthreatened calm, farm dogs
uphill, noses to the track.


Down the lane, under two
rows of ash, shadows extrude
and unite, raising dark

attic rafters to hold the floor
of night. The perse swallow
finds rest in the eave

of a nearby house.
The bat hangs up
the beams, like pitch dripped

through the ribs of a mouse.
And as the flexion of spoked wings
harls black sky with dew,

point-to-point the punctured past
is cast up as something new.


Through the vaulted ash eaves
weave flit wings in lieu
of leaves – cutting lines that bind

the stars – sensing song between those bars.

Unheard, unseen – valanced
with night – the body
divided, its lane of white:

flat black sea,
badgered with moon.


Hoar blasts
through berryless bramble,
telling all he is

intact, un-haunching
that storm-bearing back,
thundering down

his own hoof-pummelled track.

Every year
with barely altered face.


Rooks among
the alders – snagged rags
from a previous scene –

burst out
at flabby gun reports, careen
in a leaden light.


Ash buds
against an expecting cloud,
tined tight with heavy snow;

cow sheds pulse with heat,
nuclei in the dermis;
hoof-print puddles

become plums
in the westward
sequined surface;

hills, toothless


The Abbey ruins in shadow, and now
again in sun, with lichen redacting
Latin: Ecclesiasticus 13:1.

The yew tree has outgrown
its cone-sheltering gable;
the earth recedes

the reliquary of roots
with rusted studs,
a frayed gash of cable.


Spools of source and surface swerve
back to the bicycle wheel,
from a pothole

puzzle-piece of sky; cumulus
sieves the pylon shadow
of a monophyletic

crane fly.


Gob of rosacea
on the yellow bow
of a capsized kayak – air caries

in her hull – eye
of Horus, Providence, Mariner:
the all-but-humble

herring gull.


The flaring portal
in the blown grey seal
unbolts in maggot sparks. And the drunk

submarine engineer goads
his dog with leftover mezza
meat from Marks.


Golden plovers see
what snipe surely feel, or
go without all day. I wade

the sickled sands and narrowing
dreels to know
the shoals that slit my way.

Roy Patience
Originally published in Oxford Poetry, XVI.i / Winter 2015-16




Is there something more erotic than a tendril?

A snake?
A tree trunk?
A swollen root
tripping you up? Leaves on your skin
slick with autumn? And the ghostbellies
of upturned woodlice? Something more erotic

than sucking up dew? Licking lichens?
Swallowing soil? And the forest bed heaving?
And fluids? And fungi? And filling your mouth?
I have to know if there is something more beckoning

than shamrocks?
More amorous than moss?
And sweeter than knotweed? More than anything
I have to know – is there something heavier than a girdle?

Hannah Summers