Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 235: Caithness


If I could run headless through the barley fields
I would swim the green tide of land
to Watten, say, or maybe Bower
in the flat converted boglands
where our generations found their form

I would run headless then from steading
to steading, from barn to barn
starbright in the stables & milking sheds
my headless head full of the smells of growth
& silage, ah sweet temptress life

you have strew the stone anvils
of our northern tapestry with many gods
on our tongues sit Thor & Odin
behind our eyes bleed Christ & Columba
not often as the planet spins

will the darkness glitter like this


George Gunn
Previously published in Winter Barley (Chapman 2005)

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