poemof the moment
Sphagnum moss, above all, stores the footsteps of those who are now lost, those residents and denizens of moor
about the poem
This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2013. Best Scottish Poems is an online publication, consisting of 20 poems chosen by a different editor each year, with comments by the editor and poets. It provides a personal overview of a year of Scottish poetry. The editor in 2013 was David Robinson. Image: walking through the bog, Philbrick-Cricenti Bog, New London, NH, 3 Oct 2012 by mwms1916, under a Creative Commons licence
poem chosen by…
In three words – ‘sphagnum moss remembers’ – Donald Murray has the key for this poem, and indeed a whole (rather fabulous) book on life and legends from St Kilda. And just as God remembers each and ever sparrow, so does the moss remember not just each lark that has landed on it, but also those moments ‘when the rare haze/ of summer-heat crisps heather’ (love that verb), and of course, the greatest absence of all – man himself.
Donald S. Murray
Donald S. Murray comes from Ness at the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis and now lives in close proximity to 'the Ness' at the southern end of Shetland. He has written much about islands and the seabirds that fly around them. He has written about other matters such as growing up bilingually in Small Expectations (Two Ravens Press, 2010), and Harris Tweed in Weaving Songs (Acair, 2011). He has been a recipient of both the Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships.