Spinning Plates - Richie McCaffery

Spinning Plates
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Richie McCaffery lived for five years in Stirling but is now settled in Warkworth, Northumberland where he’s studying towards a PhD in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He loves words—he gathers them up, collects them in his head like rare marbles—and then—see them roll!

Sorry this pamphlet was reprinted, but both printings now sold out.


The professional

You ask what I do for a living
and I don’t think I can say.
There’s something in the way
I take this teacup from you
without the tell-tale click
of ring on hot porcelain.

You ask, Will this take long?
Maybe. My questions must
be answered. Some are pointless
as wasps and the pain they give.
Others will take you many lungs
to satisfy the depth required.

Remember my dolphin smile,
my signature like snake-crossed sand.
You will notice some day soon
all your cups carry my trademark—
a faint hairline crack. I specialize
in subtle, half-bearable damage.