Northwords Now Issue 35

The FREE literary magazine of the North

GMB’s Rocking Chair

by David James Ross

In a corner of the museum,
Marginalised by an exhibition
On the explorer Dr John Rae -
George Mackay Brown’s rocker.

Absurdly domestic beside
Harpoons, fish-spears, compass
And inflatable sealskin raft,
Quaintly mundane, homely even.

But between its spindle arms
George too has journeyed far,
Has cast off and gone exploring
On insistent iambs of its rocking,

Has traversed blank wastes
Under shifting northern lights,
Has risked all to confront and
Interrogate that final silence.