An Wi Whit Grace?
she holds her peaty vision
dark in the pupil
of her eye,
no reflected sky.
Jet and far as space,
as full of light,
the gleg n spark,
div ye ken yer place
in the universe?
Ye hiv tae keep sayin
it’s nae sae bad
whit wis hale
wisnae ever broken.
Here, hame, you know
the lie of the land.
The warld unfurls
like a bolt
in Remnant Kings
or a wind-whipped Saltire.
Fan she wis a fish
a flick o her tail
Now she’s looking back
tae afore 1707
mebbe een tae
a Pictish time
three thoosan years ago.
in the Caledonian wood
whit a bonny
the adder coiled
asleep on sun-lit
path, nae feart,
through its peaty eye.
An wi whit grace does it uncoil itsel,
lead head first in lang successive loops
intae the thick grass an tangle o hawthorn
aneath the muckle an zagging oaks.
ye hiv tae pay attention,
tak care an mind how ye go,
ask: fit ails ye?
In the Scottish crown, seventy-nine Tay pearls—
oysters fished for years by traveller folk,
displaced from Stuart-loyal glens, forced
to find a wandering living, forbidden
from ever owning lands, getting settled.
A crows parliament perched on parallel
wires above the London line bridge
as we went under on our way to Athelstaneford.
We took American Mary’s ashes to Glenshee—
blown in the wind over thistle, heather,
a rainbow bent to each end of the burn’s
curve, formed a circle of light and water
as shadows of clouds moved across bright hills,
fast passing, shifting atween sun and smirr
of rain. She wis aye lovitt by the land.