Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Thinkan o’ Skare Brae (after Robert Rendall)

by Ingrid Leonard

At Bay o’ Skaill there lies a toon
set upon the sand as if by a stone wave
struck aboot, haeved by hand.  Covered walls
thick as veins o’ a whale line flint-cut sett
that link each cell whaur families bloomed
in labyrinthine shade, kent fae outside
by tufted domes ower thick-laid slab,
an’ a deuless curl o’ smok.

Or mibbe they were more learned folk,
scalan Orion, gaugan thur worth,
makan sense o’ thur place in the star-
clustered firth.  The ring on Brodgar’s slope
shares its breadth wi’ sooth circles –
wis this a geometrist’s bower for those
who stopped in by for numbers, but an’ ben
in the New Stone Age?  Whar wid ken.

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