The leaves are drying, the breeze whispers of days and nights, the life-breath songs of our silver birch trees. The river shines a mirror; seeds carried on the air land on singing rivers, rivers carry mountains to the sea. Let's cherish the crash of waves, feel wild. Herring gull clarity, bonxie tenacity! Cumamaid na speuran gorm Let's keep the blue sky Limpet shells and seaweed. Let's go diving and find all the beautiful marine creatures down there. Today the toxic foam erodes the sand, a north-easterly dimples the waves. Our hands are stained purple - we are gathering brambles. Hairst dreeps wi berries, brambles, blaeberries, hips an haws, elderberries, roddens. Rose-hips open my heart. Look up to the hills, bog cotton, purple heather! Lapwings, craggy unforgiving outcrops. The grouse stands in the heather. Saft rain smoors the hale green o the sycamore aneath the windae, settles simmer stour. Let's save the animals getting hurt in the forests. Let's go to the woods to pick up some litter, kick colourful leaves in piles. A purple day, low glowing unsetting sun, our eyes on the summit. The wild clover, glistening grass: I will heed their whispered warning, the green beetle with its shield on its back. Cygnet feathers linger, long after the canal swan has grown. Today I saw a fox outside my window, brushed tail. Today we breathe deeply and sing the life-breath songs.
About this poem
Toward a nature poem, written by the people of Scotland.
Curated and arranged by Makar Kathleen Jamie.
Read by Eilidh Cormack.
Directed and edited by Alastair Cook.
Cinematography by James William Norton.
Sound by Luca Nascuiti.
Commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library.