Colin Will

Colin Will


This is a selection from my published poems.


We know the question,
but what was the answer?
Not sure, not quite, not yet,
don’t know, but at least not
don’t care. We cared enough
to be counted. Start from there.

First published in Poetry Scotland, November 2014
Copyright © Colin Will 2014

The last of the little green men

From words of Shakespeare much knowledge
can be gained. Difficult to see the future is,
but these plays often insights contain.
The rise of the Dark Side consider: Lear
and Hamlet fine parallels provide.
Encroaching blindness, dying, a poisonous madness,
betimes recall the wit of Solo and Lord Vader’s rage.
Descent and resurrection, all Campbell’s themes,
loss of the mother, jealousy of the father,
discovery of the unknown Other,
all archetypal are.

I too an archetype am.
How many the Mekon remember?
My green nest-mate, long retired,
over his cloned Treen army hovered
on an inverted iron, war on Venus directing.
Defeat by Dan Dare, Skywalker’s ancestor,
inevitable was. Good over evil
triumphs always. My words mark.

Back to my egg return I shall,
to the nest wherein was I laid.
Whence we came, thereto shall we all
back go. Time backwards runs.
Lost labour’s love, Caesar Julius,
all Dreams of night’s midsummer,
upon the stage their hour fret
and strut. A walking shadow
life is. More no.

Copyright © Colin Will 2012

First published in Split Screen, Red Squirrel Press, 2012

Our place

Day dawns with a wind from the west
and clouds that sit halfway down the hill.
How long, my dear, have we known this place?
Let’s say more than forty years, to be safe,
forty years, four decades, five hundred months near enough,
and the weeks and the days and the hours
must accrue uncounted, for calculation
adds little to the balance of life’s experience.
Things seen and done add to memory,
are shuffled like cards in a pack,
come to the top in ways we can’t determine.
Remember this then: that here we stand,
together, once and 40 times, and this remains.

Copyright © Colin Will 2013

First published in Making Waves, New Voices Press, 2014


As the bulge of the world’s
Moon-tugged waters
travels under the night sky,
whales surf the tides,
turning vertical motion
into migration.

The Moon moves away
an inch and a half every year.
Once it was close, a monstrous ball
of black rock, crazed with magma,
above a similar Earth, with five-hour days
and uncountable eclipses.
I wasn’t there – none of us was –
but it must have been something.
Count the inch and a halfs
in 200,000 miles,
and figure how long ago.

Squid, salps, plankton
and their followers
go up and down the water column
in daily cycles, catching food,
being food, as the world turns
about the Sun, the Moon turns
about the Earth. Springs and neaps
follow full and half; apogee
and perigee add their influences.
And we look up, seeing the same face
we’ve known since childhood,
the white Highlands, the basalt seas.

Copyright © Colin Will 2013

First published in Black Middens, New Writing Scotland 31, 2013


How noisy the rainforest is.
I’d expected silence, creeping things,
but the frogs were at volume eleven
in their own sex adverts.

Birds in the canopy played
One Song To the Tune of Another,
laughter, hoots, shrieks of a buzzard,
a cuckoo with a strange call.

Further in, cicadas chirruped,
a thrash of leaves overhead,
the steady roar of water
over the falls.

The ring-tail lemurs dozed, lying out
along branches. An infant peered
down at us, mildly curious,
then looked away.

In a clearing, butterflies battled
in upward spirals; giraffe-necked
weevils wobbled into the air,
landed on pink flowers.

The clear blue morning gave birth
to clouds, which built
towards the evening downpour,
the cracks and rumbles of thunder.

Fireflies flashed green signals
in the treetops, and, lit by our torches,
a mouse lemur grazed on tree-sap
as we watched, not breathing.

Copyright © Colin Will 2012

First published in The Passionate Transitory, 2013



It was fine when I started;
follow friends, follow family.

Then folk followed me,
and I’d follow them

Out of politeness,
not knowing any better.

But some of the followed
became irksome, boring.

Some advertised –
self or products;

Some flooded with RTs,
stupid tunes, crap vids.

Some were just banal,
offensive, insane.

Tentatively, I unfollowed,
and nothing bad happened,

So it happened again, and again.
It’s light-weight, effortless,

Unfinal, unjudging, unguilty,

Some day, elsewhere, I’ll find
the courage to unfriend.

Copyright © Colin Will 2012

Published Ink, Sweat & Tears 2013

Short stories