Jim C Wilson grew up in Edinburgh and taught for nine years in further education. He was writer-in-residence for Stirling District between 1989 and 1991, and has run the highly successful Poetry in Practice workshops at Edinburgh University since 1994.
‘Will I Ever Get to Minsk?’, his most recent collection, will be enjoyed by his many loyal readers. It’s also an excellent first-time introduction to a man who shouldn’t be missed.
He had to go into a home: his words
were not enough to cope with life. He sat
and stared with silent men, as pipe-smoke hung,
and evening settled quietly down around them.
Until she came with her bagful of poems,
her therapeutic verses. Now listen
to this and then we’ll discuss. Some life hung
in the afternoon; eyes reflected light.
Then one day something very special: One
of my favourites! she told the men, and words
spun up and down the walls and danced and cried
till he turned his head and announced to her
that he was the author of that poem: he’d
had those thoughts when he still had thoughts. She smiled
and said, Of course you did. So he improved;
he soon got out and set up home alone.
She visits him on Saturdays. He gives
her poems; she washes his clothes. And now
he’s quite himself again, brimming with words,
but far too sad to make a cup of tea.