excerpt from Farm by the Shore

excerpt from Farm by the Shore
small oats rye bere barley
ripe harvest in late summer
a shallow ploughing
grazing and fallow in rotation

corncrake and corn bunting
great yellow bumble bee
oystercatcher lapwing golden plover
orchid vetch and clover

when no one is home
the strawberry roan
stands in the rain

mattress of heather
of bracken or eelgrass
pillow of cottongrass
stuffed with a down
of coltsfoot or reedmace
floor strewn with bog myrtle

strong rope of heather
honeysuckle bridle
twisted birch bark tether
fish trap of sedge
purple moor-grass anchor rope
Thomas A. Clark

from Farm by the Shore (Manchester: Carcanet, 2017).
Reproduced with the permission of the author.

Thomas A. Clark

The poetry of Thomas A. Clark has been consistently attentive to form and to the experience of walking in the landscape, returning again and again to the lonely terrain of the Highlands and Islands.



Read more about this poet
About excerpt from Farm by the Shore

This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2017. 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 2017 was Roddy Woomble.