January 2017 - Jock Stein

Jock Stein

Jock Stein is a preacher, piper and poet from Haddington who in earlier life wrote books and booklets published in various countries in English, Kikuyu and Swahili. He took up writing serious poetry age 70 and has had poems published in Stand, Scintilla, the Herald, The Eildon Tree, Participatio, the Scots Independent, The Evergreen and the recent anthology Umbrellas of Edinburgh, with one forthcoming in Poetry Scotland. He manages the Handsel Press in his spare time, typesets books for Wipf & Stock in USA and helps to run Tyne and Esk Writers. 



He looked a hard man, 
dressed in loose grey denim, 
grey sleeves rolled up tidily 
above his boxer’s arms, lined 
with faint furrows, like his brows, 
face narrowed to that sandy red moustache 
he wore, like stubble, with a grey panache. 
He looked a hard man; 
black rucksack colour matched  
his boots, steel studded, starred 
with squares of silver nail heads, 
toes in pointed self-awareness. 
The tiny pigtail signalled martial arts, 
that chunky cheek scar came from Chinese darts. 
He looked a hard man, 
but his powerful hands 
were buried in a black alsatian’s fur. 
The dog was whimpering delight, 
gazing, rapt, into his master’s eyes. 
The looks that passed between the two of them 
– with softer folk, there’s precious few of them.