April 16, 2020

What’s in your head?

Erica Hume Niven, 49

In my day job I meet people from varying backgrounds and lodged in varying, so called, social scales. There are few people in my life who would inspire a wee poem in me but last summer I wrote a cluster of poems about a digger-man who was part of a team doing a large path contract. I cannot imagine being in the shoes of the men (or women) who work long shifts and are away from home much of the time – how do they cope, what are their relief mechanisms? I agreed to have a wee dram with them one night and this piece of writing tries to capture the drunken movement of one digger-man. Never assume that someone is hard to the core, there will be a soft spot somewhere… I love the intricacies of eccentric people and how we can be captivated unexpectedly. The metaphor refers to the diesel engine of the excavator.

The drunk digger-man, 2019