Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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56°49.0153′N / 4°10.959′W

by Sharon Black

This heart is made of stone
a lumpen fist
beside a muddy track near Newtonmore

Its vena cava and aorta gleam
with zig-zag puddles
held in tractor prints. It overlooks

Glen Spey – the river’s peaty vein
dispensing nutrients
to fields of sheep, of neeps,

below the Cairngorms
with their litany of vitals:
Ben Macdhui, Braeriach, Cairn Toul,

Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Beinn a’ Bhuird…
The body stretches out, bulging
And magnificent. A mizzle

lubricates the joints. Down there
on the A9: the bright lights
of a lorry flowing north to Inverness.

Here, a metal gate slumps
against a wall; summer hay ferments
in lines of black wrapped silage.

One transplant is enough.
This heart is roped with quartz,
tied around the planet’s core.

Note: The geographical centre-point of Scotland
was marked by Ordnance Survey by a stone
in a wall with a plaque. After it was stolen,
it was replaced in 2015 by a boulder.

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
ISSN 1750-7928 - Print Design by Gustaf Eriksson - Website by Plexus Media