Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 46: Achmelvich

Walking

First there is wonder:
a river-wrack dance on incoming tide,
two otters twining out to sea,
moss under crushing footsteps,
a radiant sedge,
a raven overhead.

Then there is wondering:
why one rowan toppled in the storm,
upending boulders to survive
all tangled, all-angled complexity,
while the smaller simply
shed another limb.

For a moment, there is insight:
mosses and lichens, liverworts and ferns
will overgrow the wounded wood,
scarred trunks will heal,
the lightened crown will stand;
there is elegance or there is sprawl.

On the way back
it is the same grey day
but everything is different;
even the river
flows the other way.

Mandy Haggith

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