Heriot Toun in summer

Words for Autumn 2008



Time and the Hour

We took our rest beneath the Milky Way
clear far yet near and cool,
told tales of earthy Irish things
and old-folk we had known.

In mossy woods the tracks were lined
with butter-coloured chanterelles fluted like Mahler’s singing earth
and ready for our gathering.

We climbed to where the mountain waters flowed
spreading a thin veil on sculpted rock
yet islanded midstream a tiny fir stood firm
with tormentil and melancholy thistle.

Swallows settled on the pylon wires
or swooped, escaped above us.
A robin sat to pass the damp of evening
as fallen branches were cut up for fuel.

Then we lit the fire and talked a while
and fended off our sad presentiments.
We wanted to be warm and quiet and glad
to stay amid the waterfalling round us.

Tessa Ransford


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