Brian Johnstone

Day of Rest

Brian Johnstone

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They speak of those Sabbaths as lost,

the forbearance changes simply forgot,

doors closed, the good book, no catches


unlatched. For the brazen, maybe a walk,

just ten minutes down to the shore, lest

someone should see, turn disapproval


to censure, at best to a pursing of lips,

an intake of breath at their gall. Those

that wouldn’t lift peat from the stack,


wash any dishes from morning till night,

or open a window to freshen the air;

those perhaps the most driven in life,


the ones who took work at a pace, let it

measure their years like a pendulum

shifting in space. To them give the rest,


give one day in the week when nothing

was something, the graft of the present

was simply laid down, left till the dawn.




Brian Johnstone


Brian Johnstone is a poet, writer and performer whose work has appeared throughout Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, in North America and Europe. He has published six collections, most recently Dry Stone Work (Arc, 2014) and his work appears on the Poetry Archive website. His memoir Double Exposure was published by Saraband in February 2017. He is a founder and former Director of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival. http://brianjohnstonepoet.co.uk/