Featured writer: Jim Aitken

We are delighted to welcome Jim Aitken as our Featured Writer. Jim is well-known on the Scottish literary scene for his heartfelt, often politically charged poetry and drama and his range of subjects. Wind and Wave – below – finds him in a more contemplative mood but the poem’s unexpected conclusion roots it in the specific. You can read one of Jim’s stories (he is a multi-talented writer) published on CultureMatters.

Jim Aitken’s last poetry collection was ‘Flutterings’ 2016 and his last play produced was ‘Letters from Area C’ directed by Karen Douglas of SpartaKi in 2017. Jim also tutors in Scottish Cultural Studies in Edinburgh and organises Literary Walks for groups around the city. He also works with the Outlook programme teaching creative writing for people with mental health issues.

His new play ‘Rosa’, about the life of Rosa Luxemburg, will be staged at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh in November 2019.


Clouds race across the sky
like mountain ranges on the run
and the dry sand skirts the beach
like a thousand plumes of smoke descending.

Only the gulls glide, hover and soar
for they believe this day is theirs
as our softness keeps us domestically indoors
while they brace the art of the elemental life.

All things will pass just like this wind
and what the wind and the sea
have blown on to the beach below
other winds and seas will take away.

And the piece of broken glass that lies
among the sea shells, smoothed by unseen salt
makes me wonder if I lay down there
would my jagged edges be washed away?

© Jim Aitken 2019

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