Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Under Grizzled Skies

by Robert Leach

Under grizzled skies the dark North Sea
Thumps and thumps the listless sands.

Gulls squat and paddle in the rushing shallows,
A handful of plovers peck a bit,
Skip a step, run a yard or two
Through the dreary skeins of seaweed
Yawing at the water’s edge, and a heron
Lands lazily, stands
Gravestone still, grey and black.

It’s barely a breath
In the lungs of eternity.
Then –

A man with a dog – the dog,
Frisky with freedom, trot-lollops
To the tide-line. The birds
Bridle, reluctantly retreat. The dog,
Desolate as abandoned love, leaves

And there’s only the surf-topped swell
And fall, swell and fall – time’s nocturne
Like a dull hammer on a dull anvil –
Till sulkily, the birds return.

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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