Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Triangulation Points


The sun and I
looked down upon the Muckle Toon
and over the hill
to a plain of trees and fields.
Beyond that,
Criffle and the Solway,
then, at the edge of the day,
a haze,
where the map makers wrote,
“here be monsters.”

How quick the cloud set in,
that, by the time we were out of the heather,
the first great drop had fallen
and the race was lost,
so we walked
and skimmed a few stones in the river
before tea.


The Buddhists on our hill
billow saffron on the air.
Grinning as the Nikon snaps
and records a day from meditation.
Below the relentless city
marks each hour and station of the day
with angry horns at junctions
and deliveries to shops.

Newly hand in hand
we turn our backs upon the ageless faces
and descend through the grass and heather,
to the future on the wind.


She never sat on my shoulders
like her little brother,
for in her fear,
she covered my eyes.
So she held my hand,
and we walked,
and looked at the sea,
and talked about why the sky is blue.

We saw it once,
small, triangular,
a shadow on the horizon,
but that was it,
the Ailsa Craig,
cold reminder of our volcanic past
lurking, inaccessible
in our periphery vision.

So she held my hand,
and while the grip was unblighted,
we walked
and overturned a stone.


Here, beneath the castle walls,
the wind brings brambles and snowdrops
in strict rotation.
Never a Gallovidean –
an onlooker, an outsider,
directing from the sidelines.
From the chrysalis of remote fatherhood,
watching the sun grow higher
day by day
over the triangulation points,
warming a woody old clematis
and shortening shadows.

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