Open Book Reading have been celebrating #EdwinMorgan100 with Morgan Month – sharing Edwin Morgan poems with their groups, who have composed poems based on the theme ‘Push the boat out’, a line from Morgan’s poem At Eighty. Their fantastic poems are shared below.

Push The Boat Out, after Edwin Morgan by BAME Creative Writing Group

Finding a puddle or a gutter

The rippled water might drop off the edge 
of the earth into a never-ending fall 
of water, an arc of soil, of magma.

A mushroom and grass carpet,
soiled soles of socked feet 
sliding on search of silent souls. 

Doesn’t the stillness of the shore 
make your bones ache?

Push the boat out, compañerxs
to la libertad.

Seek and ye shall find, 
push the boat out come what may, 
with grace and light.


Row out into the galaxy, 
purple swirls with glitter.

Lines of fate, worn smooth,
From fingers, counting
The surety of circular time,
In the Morse code of Norse gods.

Surrender sideways 
to the tumbling allure 
of the froth-encrusted waves.

Push the boat out
Don’t hold back
Be experimental
Give it all you got from the heart
The lady with the heart for a head
The woman whose head is her heart
The person who is a heart
Pushing the boat out 
Against stormy waters 
Not holding back
Always giving with generous spirit 
Like Salt & Pepper 
Pushing real good…

Push the boat in, compañerxs,
we have arrived!

At Eighty by Perth Adult Learners

Push the boat out, whatever you do.

But be sensible.
Think first of the consequences of your actions.
Wisdom comes from being confident.

Education is key.
Take it. Use it. Go out into the world and share it.

Love daily but make sure that love is earned and respected.
Lust after love and happiness. Cherish it always. Love lots and love hard.

Try new things with new people but don’t be afraid to leave the wrong people behind.

Always be yourself, do what you want and not what others expect of you.
Live life the way you want. Be happy. Laugh, have fun and make memories.

Take time to reflect on your choices and accept things you cannot change.

Put your bare feet into the morning dew grass. Soak it up and revitalise.
Ground yourself.

Sniff the sweetness of the earth. Watch the birds fly.
Drift through days without purpose. Just be.

Push the Boat Out, from Ullapool Library. By Alastair, Barbara, Sandy, Madeline and Lorraine

Push the boat out,
time to unrest those old laurels,
make waves now not ripples.

Push the boat out,
from waters known to new,
booking tickets for one last European tour

Push the boat out,
encounter deeper straits,
Push the boat out,
your horizon awaits.

Push the boat out,
do more than scan the aisles of a backwater Tesco,
Let the stream of life carry, committing to a big one worth remembering.

Push the boat out,
Will you give me a hand, a little shove?
The tide is out farther than we knew.

Push the boat out,
heave and strain, feet jammed in the shingle,
Push the boat out,
Where will we come to rest?

Push the Boat Out by Glasgow Women’s Library

Hey, ho, feel the spray and the salt.
Don’t listen, zip up that wetsuit
And splash that half mile.
Surf on silver ribbons of water,
White horses being born every minute. 
Some of them are Kelpies,
Shaking their green, flowing manes
Amongst the tangles and mermaid purses.
Look now!
Hey, ho, pound the waves, push,
Surf, dip, dive. 

Morgan Group Poem by Dundee Creative Writing Group

Like distant ships in mist, or bells
clanging out their siren calls
cowering fearful of what may be hidden there
but strengthened by the presence of others
the mermaid urges caution
don’t go off the beaten track

in case of danger
look up and see the stars and sky
endless play action

ties to home run through our hands as we cast off
knit the waves
tartan legs vanish in a spray of gulls
screeching, squawking
swooping, soaring

we watch, we wait to go

For a Moment Leave a Mark from Brora Creative Writing Group by Lynne, Katie, Shirley, Anne, Liz

Push the boat out whatever the sea
Move forward through the waves
Weft and warp, ebb and flow, eternal motion
Drifting like a piece of driftwood over a stormy rough wave
Floating clouds reflecting on still water
Looking at the gentle ripples catching sunbeams

Life like a seal surfacing on flat calm water
Watching from a distance
Leaving the safe harbour
Sliding through cool satiny water
Eyes fixed on the horizon
The dark undercurrents try to drag you down

Guide the tiller through crushing, crashing waves curling to shore
Let the cool water take your weight and sustain you
No matter how calm, how rough, how dark
For a moment leave a mark
That in time will disappear 
Back into that flashing mirror
And submerge you in blue

Push the Boat Out by LGBT+ Creative Writing Group

I can’t give you an easy answer.
Unknown is best.

The fireworks explode in multiple-coloured rays
Leaping, changing in unexpected ways.

Looking out at the vast emptiness
over lochs and munros
eating homemade jam, chutneys, goat’s cheese
listening to the calming thwacking of the keys.
They seem happy enough.

There is time enough to rest
Let it rush in like the tide,
An unravelling of self and dreams and soul.
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