Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 89: Arran

We are part star

We are bone and water stretched out, prone
before the burning logs, made soft by wine,
the slow-twitch movement held by skin

– not two lovers, bellies to the rug, but
a necromancer’s toss of jumbled runes.
A shake and pitch, whose message burns

through broad oak planks and beams, through panes
and out into the night of sodden leaves and loam,
skimming, with September’s ghost, the darkened lawns,

glancing off sandstone pillars, past the clean
sweep of the drive, across the bay to Eilean Arainn,
shedding embers on a sleeping ptarmigan

then, humming, bounces off Goat Fell, airbourne,
soaring through cold ether, lit by moon
and fogged with smoke; nothing, now, between

the lovers who never loved and the black sun.
We’re grounded. I felt your heartbeat in the stone
even as our feet slipped in wet clay; the pain

releasing as we climbed the glen,
stole brown water from the tumbled burn:
drank deep of rusty iron and peat and rain

and grasped at trees whose roots will scream
when they’re dragged, too soon,
from the soil of sleeping Earls. It’s sin,

Yggdrasil says, to mess with so much rún
– your life is not your own. The night turns:
we are the flint that sparks the dawn.

 

Claudia Daventry
Previously published in The Island Review, 2014

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