Heriot Toun in autumn

Words for Winter 2009



Only a Leaf for a Sail

Only a leaf for a sail, and before us,
look, the impossible ocean of it all;
squall and storm; lash and flail; the
unnavigable, the hungry, the whole
perfect unstarred bleakness of the
world, as though a dark we feared had
been made real and cold and tidal, and
the lifted green black ragged face of its
hand to pull us, pull us down, and what
chance would you say we had, so
small, only the two, my love. Just me.
Just you. But give us a leaf for a sail,
and suddenly, somehow or other,
everywhere’s possible.

John Glenday


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