May 2016 - Anita Govan

Anita Govan

Former Stirling Makar, 2012- 2015 Anita Govan is one of Scotland's leading creative practitioners of spoken word and performance poetry. Having formerly been one of the pioneers of the now-flourishing spoken word scene. She is co-founder and teacher of Confab’s Scottish Youth Poetry Slam*, she has been described as a 'driving force' for performance poetry in Scotland.

Severely dyslexic herself, she uses poetry as a tool for learning, travelling around Scotland facilitating workshops for schools, communities, colleges, universities and business.

*Scottish Youth Poetry Slam semi final will take place at the MacRobert Arts Centre on the 6th Oct 2016.  


D’s for Dragons 

D’s for Dragons

D’s for Dragons

D’s for Dragons

the teacher said

it staked me out

staked my every move from birth

weaving its smoky breath

in and out

in and out

curling its tongue

a multicoloured spiral

above my bed

fanning its embers

laughing at my astonishment

Ah the jewel I’d found

locked inside my  head.

at six

it hung around my leg

every stumble

it followed

how I long to paint

find its shape

in the coloured shadows

behind the blackboard

fruits of wild imaginings

school was such a disappointment

chalked up in a straightjacket

of A to Z

2 plus 2

the ball is red

at ten

I fitted neatly into its skin

in every lesson

lava spitting nostrils flaring

an invisible steam-head

in silent raging

piling up its hills

and back down again

between stark pages

along its higglety-pigglety fence

with flaking scales…

D's for Dragons

the teacher said

just try again

at fourteen

we were reluctant lovers

a snake in the grass

kissing at the back of class

waltzing along its strange path

through the history books

past Maths and French

shooting from the lumbering

hills of German

all those reluctant arrows

that fell dead

and silent

into a hostile land

called English

I tried to scrape its scales

wash its stench from my breath

to be or not to be

that was the question then.

at eighteen

it was my only rebel friend

it followed as I fled

my black and blue inked jail

all the bright expectations

that turned to red

a quick escape

down concrete streets

past all the jumbled words spelling

dead end

straight into a graveyard called


it was here we laid our weary heads

on the ghostly shoulders

of the government

just fill this in

the woman said


D’s for Dragons

D’s for Dragons

D’s for Dragons

the teacher said

just try again

just try again.