Introducing the June 2008 Readers: 1. Mike Stocks

Mike Stocks is an Edinburgh-based author. His novel White Man Falling won the Goss First Novel Award. His latest novel, an adventure-thriller called Down Deep written under the pen name Mike Croft, is just out. His book of sonnets Folly was published in 2006, while his translations of the sonnets of Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli were published in 2007. He is the editor of the poetry magazine, Anon.

A woman

Was I the only one who saw her cry?
She crossed me on the Mile, eyes raw and low,
went slowly grieving past the Netherbow,
a self-contained but sobbing passerby.

Everybody’s father has to die,
though whether hers had died I wouldn’t know;
and lovers love us deeply, till they go,
but who’s to say if hers had gone, or why?

More likely, as you say, her tears were
for smaller causes than the ones I state—
though I’m the one who saw the then of her,

and paused before I walked to where I went,
not knowing who she was nor what it meant,
and watched her disappear down Canongate.

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