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Archaeologie by Andy Murray

2nd November 2023

Andy Murray was a journalist for most of his adult life. He's written poems since he retired in 2021. He won the Fresh Voice award at the Wigtown Book Festival. His poetry has been published widely on magazines. His debut pamphlet, The Magician's House, was published by Drunk Muse in September.


Whit ye fin diggin gairdens is stunnerin,
Fossils, false teeth,
an banes as al as muck.
Ah’ve fun a wudden pipe
wi tar in its shaft still
It’s as if some smokin time-traveller
set doon yonner on his wye
tae guidness kens whaur,
an left it llyin.

Ah wunner whae it belang’t tae,
Some bygone gairdener, wi his sleeves roll’t up
wi metal bands,
takin a brek frae plantin
fur a suck and a spit?

Aiblins he collaps’t nearby
an they nivver fun it,
an years o weeds bury’t it,
or he gaed in the hoose fur tea
an forgot whaur he'd pit it.

This is nae fancy carve’t pipe oot I Sherlock Holmes,
Nocht curved or flamboyant.
Jeest a strecht stem an a bowl
Fur the business. Nocht showy.
He must hae held his licht ablow a bushel.

An unassumin man.
Ye’d imagine him yeesin bog standard plug.
Ah mine ma grandfaither cuttin
an flakin his Condor
wi a pocket knife, tampin it
afore settlin doon
efter World o Sport
tae watch Jackie Pallo
fecht wi Mick McManus.

While they wrestled
ah hover’t aboot the biscuit jar,
wunnerin when the Camp coffee
wid be comin.