after Nan Shepherd
A man writes a poem about the past by an open window blistered with rain, trawls the slippery contours of his brain for a lost love, distant as a blue crag. The future flutters, a bird in a cage. He closes the door, steps into the broad shrug of his sea-carved island. A raw squall collars light, casts a rainbow centre-stage. Flush with fool’s gold, the sky brightens his mood. Through a froth of just-snapped stalks, he follows a voice—forgets to lay a path of rocks by the brandied birch of Berridale Wood. The wind, an unbroken colt, draws him near— warns of black bridal gowns and hollow trees.
About this poem
This poem was commissioned by the SPL for a special tribute event to Nan Shepherd hosted in the poetry library in April 2022.