Let's follow the salmon and swim against the shivering river. Let’s go down to watch the waves. Let's take the path by the marram grass. Let’s worship trees, nests and nettles, embrace the insect life, (we'll get eaten by midges.) Ferns. Coiled dank places. Soft mossy spaces, the subtler hues, russets, pinks and the smoke-grey blues. Leaping dolphins escort us, a dolphin or the glimpse of a whale. A humpback blows, its beautiful spray hanging in the freezing air, shrouded in sea-fret. (Tiree, they say, is running out of water. Bogland on Harris is cracking.) The swans are polka dots on the blue horizon of their loch. The lintie's sang will lift ma hert. A lark above the corn field sings. I come into the peace of the wild. (Today in the park: a plastic-choked bin.) The sound of geese through the mist, my dear green place. I speak to a squirrel. The resident robin sings its winter song, her breastplate of feathers masks the blood-red wound of her heart. The tide will rise and fall, sea of time echoing selkies’ singing, the gentle sounds of the machair. An-diugh cuireamaid geall airson ar cuid cloinne, (Today let's make a promise for our children,) thèid sinn airson ruith ann an nàdair (we'll go out and run among nature) bats flittering and fluttering over, dragonfly dancing. The shivering river.
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.