Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 335

Hutton’s Unconformity

The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking
so far back into the abyss of time

—John Playfair

The day feels infinitely long. We’ve come here
for this. To give a greater sense to our finite
moments through glimpsing an abstract mass
of rock. Past the Brittonic dun and ancient
parish chapel falling beyond its second half-life
to a place we’d surely miss but for its present
historical significance. It’s where history begins.
Or, rather, where giddy minds are left to plumb
their deeper misconceptions of deep time.
Either way, the here-and-now proves irrefutably
selfie-worthy. And so we stare into the screen
for a brief stay against mortality. That other
timeline we update with catastrophic regularity.
We’ll be scrolling to this point our whole lives.

Tarn MacArthur

Note: Siccar Point, Berwickshire, is where James Hutton famously found evidence for his theory of uniformitarian geological development, which is considered by some to be the founding moment and location of the concept of deep time.

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.