Carse Wandering by Roddie McKenzie

April 2nd, 2020

So, I’d drive out to Kingoodie  – I’ve got the cabin fever bad  – can’t take any more of the prime monkey’s bullshit on the telly. I have worn out the pavements round by the house and I’m sick of all these numpties that don’t get socially distancing  – crowding you on the pavement, in shops – they wouldn’t know a yardstick of two metres if it hit them in the face.

That’s why I am out here with you- I need to get away from people, need to get away from myself, maybe. If I walk far enough, I might leave the depression behind.  Don’t know why I am telling you this – It’s not your problem, but there is nobody else to listen.

And falling out with her leaves me alone in these loneliest of times. I can’t blame her – difficult times, mental health…the perfect storm.  When we bust up before, I ran around the park as though I could batter all the hurt and loss out of me each time my feet pounded the track.  This isn’t as bad, apart from the old man being sick, but I need something to stop that rising need to freak out:

– to burst out like a gushing oil well.

– to neck a bottle of tequila

– to smoke all the weed that I can get my hands on.

But I know that will not help. 

And you know that – so why am I telling you?

Maybe I am looking for re-assurance. You’re constant, you’re predictable.

 Easter sunshine gilds

the pastel shades of the land,

A terrible beauty of birdsong.


 April 12th

Hello again. I see the wild cherry blossoms along the lane, their pink petals already falling – like all the lives taken by the virus  – the old man, one of them. No surprise, a real coffin dodger for more than twenty years I’ve lived and relived this day.  But he kept coming back like Lazarus.  This at least put an end to his pains; he had no quality of life – he told me himself.  Just crap that we could not send him off like he wanted.

I like your silence.  It soothes me.

Sakura  – I am saddened to hear of                                           

the 563 petals

that fell yesterday

in yesterday’s chill wind,

…with one bigger than

all the others.


May 8th

Aye, it’s me again.  I think coming out to see you is working – no meltdowns.  Me and my lass are speaking again – you probably saw her yesterday when we came visiting. She likes it here too.

A spring landscape, luscious in life green,

Marsh Marigolds light up the burn with reflected candle-like light;

as if lit, for hope.


June 23rd

High summer now, the virus is in retreat.  Not normality yet.  I take joy in seeing you in your full green glory.   She loves you too. It’s crap that we can’t go abroad for a holiday, but we picnic in your woods and on your beaches.  Man  – it’s boiling.  Closer together each week eh?  All of us.

Invergowrie Bay swaps colours

on the receding waters and light

in the twilight sky.

Wine catches slivers of sunlight

as it cascades into the glass.

All together,

it could be the Aegean.


September 17th

Nippy, isn’t it? Here we are in the bonfire days of the year.  She loved the berry picking and making sloe gin and raspberry jam last week- you provide more than just spiritual support.

Hedges hold a bounty of berries.

Brambles, globular, like haematite, an impression of black metal,

but dispelled by a touch of their juice-swollen bodies, that explode

tart and sweet simultaneously, on the tongue


December 24th

No need to ask you how you’re doing?  Whatever happens, nothing stops you  – you just keep on with your eternal cycle – and that is re-assuring.  Good to be here with you, even if it is a driech day and the virus is rising again.  But the jag works and when we all get that, it will blooter the wee bastard. After what we have been through, we are tough enough now for anything.

Just to let you know – I have moved back in with her – all copacetic now, but a major shout out to you for helping me keep the heid.  I owe you so much.

You’ll no see her out till Spring – she’s a cold tattie, but I’ll be visiting- want to see you in your winter glory. I’ll away now.  Cheerio – and thanks!


The fields are ploughed – all maroon corduroy – ready to accept the seeds of the new future.

The trees are now black. Dendritic, like nerve cells sprouting from the land.

As I approach, birds flee between them, like dopamine shot between my neurons

as I gorge on the dying beauty of the day.


By Roddie McKenzie

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