What drives me by Magi Gibson

What drives me, you ask,

as if I’m a juggernaut
with a hairy-armed trucker at my wheel
or a shiny car or train
bolting through the landscape
of my life.


Perhaps the wind drives me, I say,
as it drives the sleet and snow
that sting and numb the senses.


But no! I am driven
by the fire that rages in my head
when I see a woman with her head bowed low

a frozen family with nowhere to go

children starving in a war-zone hell

a poet locked up in a death-row cell.
I am driven to violence
against my typewriter.


I plead guilty
to battering its pale keys
to bruising the blank indifference
of a thousand sheets of paper.


I am driven by a driver without a licence.


I am driven by the ordinary

madness of existence.


Magi Gibson has had three four poetry collections published. She won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Prize, had had her work anthologised in major landmark collections in Scotland, and translated into several languages. She’s held several Scottish Arts Council and one Royal Literary Fund Creative Writing Fellowships, and has had several novels for older children published by Puffin. She lives in Glasgow. Her fifth collection will be out later this year.

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