Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Memory and Thought

by Jennifer Morag Henderson

Towards the evening, Thought on one shoulder
And Memory weighing on the other
The fire flickers, faces half-shadowed
As the old stories begin to unfold.

Outside the circle, I sit to listen
Hear the wheels of others’ lives set spinning
Roses on the hill, rare, pale pink, thorned stems
And Burnt Njal’s ghost in the dying embers.

Swords and poets’ songs, sad men and women
Others who, like me, are far from their dwelling
Long, complicated, looping histories
The endless nodding genealogies.

I stand, walk shorewards to tell, say in a whisper
To the birds, I am my own chronicler.

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