Glen Wilson




It is a ritual of the borderlands,

we have always been a people

with movable lines, maps drawn over us

like overhead projector sheets.

Some hassled history teacher paraphrases

rivers, towns, mountains. We put on

the old clothes, traditional dress, cossack

coats marked with many ribbons of ink.


We must wrap the patterns tight, take strength

from the grain of our labours, for empires come

here to figure eight years of pressure, knock

off the vinoks from our womenfolk. We step back

draw a lung full of our natural air, run and clear

the flame. Then we’ll teach our sons to do the same.






Glen Wilson lives and works in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. He has been widely published, having work in The Honest Ulsterman, The Irish Literary Review, Iota, Southword, and The Incubator Journal, amongst others. In 2014 Glen won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016 and shortlisted in the 2016 Wells Festival of Literature. He is currently working towards his first collection of poetry.

Twitter:  @glenhswilson    Email:  glenhswilson@facebook.com