Aa flap, nae fecht. Sae first
glance wid gie. But plenty
arroos haes dookit anunder dat
seeminly total sketch.
Syne da beak bobbed back up
abön da wattir, da sprayed
mist aff da dryin wings
sank intae underfit
even da herdist kaes wid windir
‘Sall I crack, faesd wi dis
sae fu as da cry
fleein fae da thrapple
tae da gluffed air shø’d circled
squarin up tae laund
locked een jumpin oot
o sockets, böts bielin fur grund
nivvir high eneoch ta jink free
o da deadly, tooirin boo primed
predominant afore de. Aa fecht. Nae flap.
All flap, no fight. So first/glance would give. But plenty/arrows have ducked beneath that/seemingly total sketch.//When the beak bobbed back up/above the water, the sprayed/mist off the drying wings/sank into underfoot//even the hardest case would wonder/‘Shall I crack, faced with this/uninvited sentinel?’/No moon/ ever shone/as full as the cry/flying from the throat/to the startled air she’d circled// squaring up to land/locked eyes jumping out/of sockets, boots boiling for ground/ never high enough to jink free/of the deadly, towering bow primed/predominant before you. All fight. No flap.
From Doors tae Naewye (Luath, 2020)