Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
Sgrìobhadh ùr à Alba agus an Àird a Tuath

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Moon Return

by Angus Dunn

The moon is full tonight
as it was full
when last we spoke,
before our castle walls
collapsed to formless dunes.
I was a child then,
I did not know
what substance would cement
those golden shifting sands -
if anything will hold
the structures that we make
with heart and hands.

The moon is full tonight.
Tides are rising
in New Zealand, Capetown
and in Tobermory Bay.
Beneath the shining sea
marine crustaceans
clack their limbs:
their courtly dance
makes hieroglyphics
on the silty ocean floor
I turn and see moon-shadows
in the footsteps I have left
along the shore.

The moon is full tonight,
drawing us beyond ourselves.
I am a man now
at least in this –
I know the moves
our species makes
responding to the chemicals
of life, the energies
we swim through.
I know that this will pass.
I try to read the meaning
of these markings in the sand:
they will not last.

The moon will fill again,
and all will change.
This life too will fil
and fade, but when it’s gone
something of me and you will carry on.
The voice of moon and tide
will call us through:
I will look into a different face
and know it’s you.

The Board and Editor of Northwords Now acknowledge support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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