The Whale-watcher

The Whale-watcher
And when at last the road
gives out, I’ll walk – 
harsh grass, sea-maws,
lichen-crusted bedrock – 

and hole up the cold
summer in some battered
caravan, quartering
the brittle waves

till my eyes evaporate
and I’m willing again
to deal myself in:
having watched them

breach, breathe, and dive
far out in the glare,
like stitches sewn in a rent
almost beyond repair.
Kathleen Jamie

from The Tree House (Picador, 2004)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.

Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie is a poet, essayist and travel writer, one of a remarkable clutch of Scottish writers picked out in 1994 as the ‘new generation poets’ – it was a marketing ploy at the time but turns out to have been a very prescient selection. She became Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Stirling in 2011.

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