Mandy Macdonald – four degrees plus

four degrees plus

first they said
it’s not happening,

then they said
it’ll never happen
it’s not our fault
not really
natural cycles
ice ages come around
all the time
don’t they?

then they said
it won’t happen in our lifetime
in our children’s lifetime
but hopefully not
and by then
we’ll have
the technology to deal with it

and anyway
we’ll adapt,
we’re an adaptable species
let’s look at

agreed, then?
somewhere with
better wine perhaps but
same time
next year?
if there is one


Mandy Macdonald – On the road to Zaragoza, May 2015

On the road to Zaragoza, May 2015

loping away
from the roadside’s
playground of poppies
vines in formation process

green and bright as hope
under the low hill edges
silvered with olives

warcry of turbines
………………..sudden as an ambush
………………..over the hill-brow
………………..across the horizon
………………..expecting a new

Mandy MacDonald – After the Seizure

After the seizure
In response to an online news item, ‘After the Rapture’ Will Place Your Cats With Loving Atheist When Jesus Comes — for a Small Fee’

returning to consciousness she
saw that she had not been taken
most of what she could see was
the kitchen floor where she lay
attentive to her breathing
making sure it was hers
mind touring her body for
breakages more serious than
the coffee cup at the edge of her vision
no, she was not ready to get up yet
but she gave thanks to any deity who might be listening
that she was not alone
her snail’s-eye view took in the calm approach of Audrey
the loyal, Audrey the friend always to be counted on,
delicately skirting the spilt coffee
oh, the reassurance, the comfort of Audrey’s face
close to hers, Audrey’s beautiful blue eyes, Audrey’s voice,
endearingly husky, coaxing her to get up, Audrey’s creamy paw
softly, patiently batting her nose
Mandy Macdonald is an Australian writer, translator and editor living in Aberdeen and trying to make sense of the 21st century. She has had poems published in Poetry Scotland, Pushing Out the Boat, ‘The Wait’ charity anthology, and Haiku Scotland, and forthcoming in Lunar Poetry (December 2014) and Outlook Variable (Grey Hen Press, forthcoming). 

Mandy Macdonald – carrying the banner

carrying the banner


well then      no choice:

you go forward, with your comrades

at times scarcely able to crawl

you are an ant, clutching between hard jaws

like a huge sail, a leaf twice your size

                   or a great yellow petal;

a mother cat, carrying her kittens

one after another from refuge to refuge –

what is there you have not carried

on your back and in your belly

caravel swollen with cargo?

brave little pennants

crow’s-nest high and fluttering

before the wind

                   like your hair ribbons

when you were ten and running to school

when you were ten and scared to be late

when you were ten and running for joy

with the wind tangled

in your hair ribbons


at times you break into a run, banners held high

and the throats of your comrades singing and shouting

like birds

like thunder

you are thousands and your strength is invincible


Mandy Macdonald is an Australian writer, translator and editor living in Aberdeen. She has been writing poems for as long as she can remember, but no-one else knew until very recently. She has had poems published in Poetry Scotland, Pushing Out the Boat, and Haiku Scotland. ‘Carrying the banner’ was originally written for the Feminists in Resistance in Honduras and has been published in the newsletter of the Central America Women’s Network.