The Poetry Chain

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Each month we will be sharing a poem or workshop delivered by a poet across Scotland to inspire and support you create your own poetry.

The Poetry Chain with… Jackie Kay

This month the Scottish Makar herself shares her story of how she became a writer and passes on her wisdom as to the tools you need to become a writer yourself!

Watch the video below: 

The Poetry Chain with… Louise Peterkin

Edinburgh-based poet Louise Peterkin shares her poem on the theme of place. ‘FoS’, standing for Fortress of Solitude, which is Superman’s den in the North Pole, focuses on what Superman does when he’s finished saving the world!

Watch the video below:


Sometimes, I just want to hang around in my pants.

Baggy ones. Boxers. Not close fitting red scunners

clutching my crotch over bright blue tights,

like someone pulling clenched fists to their chest –

Yesssss! The world’s been saved. Again.

Lois calls it my man den


which shows a wilfulinability to acknowledge

its staggering beauty: a frozen lotus or a water lily

blasted into icy protrusions, a silvery pyre

of test tubes and broken hearts, cupped

cold candle in the wild’s screaming tundra.

I mean, look at this place. Under microscope


the snowflake has the explicit gleam

of a ninja star. My fortress holds the same

Arctic persuasion. Seen from afar it fells

whole expeditions to their knees, huskies

leaping round them like Mexican tree frogs.

That’s just the facade. Step inside folks,


for a universe of awesome! My frozen parents

look down reproachfully as I hurtle through

the arc of their statues. I got bored

one day, manipulated two of my robot servants

into a Segway. Cape flapping, I thunder past  

the scattered scrap, their blinking data


muted to embers. The antechamber splinters

out to forever rooms of Krypton technology,

glaive-like armoury, salient and glassy as science.

But I am the weapon, my laser beam eyes

carve figures from house sized

blocks of ice. Or heat up a nice bowl of ramen.


It’s great in here: I scratch myself often and well,

apply full blast zeal to my…emissions.

There’s so much to do, though as a rule

I avoid the alien zoo with its scuttling noises,

the currency smell of the reptile. Best of all:

my games pavilion with its many consoles. I wield


the controller and in a flurry of thumbs,

my tongue sticking out in concentration

I make the pixelated avatar jump

over impossible chasms, hurl huge boulders

into oncoming villains who shudder and explode

like champagne into a million and one constellations.                                   Louise Peterkin