Croft at Scourie Bay
In stone the colour of an unwashed fleece,
two small square windows and a low door
reflect a slanted light, all they get here,
where clouds forever jostle for position.
Twin stacks, like bookends, hold the rows of slate;
each black leaf wiped by many readings of the rain.
That rain still writes its own cold code upon the hills -
a cipher with a million years’ refinement.
There are few who try to break it,
who test their keys to this stiff lock of land.
They turn the sheep with heavy-pelted collies,
hoping for a clue among the patterns of their flocks.
Published in A Weight of Small Things (Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts, 1981)
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