Peter Mackay: a poem


The Leak


The cistern is leaking –

through the boards the water flows,

a tacky rusted water

percolated through dust and wood and iron.


This, or something like this,

is what flows in you, in your renal system,

in your veins:

water that has put on time and weight.


It drips, a boozy oracle,

reveals unofficial secrets

of what lives between motes, in cracks,

that for the life of you should not be seen.



Peter Mackay is the author of a monograph on the work of Sorley MacLean (RIISS, 2010), and has co-edited collections of essays on modern Irish and Scottish poetry and on Scottish Gaelic literature. He is currently working on a book on Wordsworth and Seamus Heaney and has edited, with Ian S. MacPherson, An Leabhar Liath / The Light Blue Book, an anthology of Scottish Gaelic love and "transgressive" poetry, published by Luath Press in 2016 and the winner of the Donald Meek Award. His collection Gu Leòr / Galore was published by Acair in 2015.