Heriot Toun in summer

Words for Autumn 2009

A Very Circular Song

At the brink of the cliff the boy on the quad bike
goes round and round the same crag, by the greo
the bull in the ring of his own making.
And the half moon nissen huts are lit,
and their doors rolled back
on trowie bright halls in the hill.
And the wind turns
like a great water wheel.
The wind comes round to the north to pad
briefs on the line with putenda of the wind,
and someone would need to take them in
before the next rain, or leave them to drench
and dry again.
And tufted ducks fly up from the lochan
to make a slow turn.
And gales are followed by rare, clear days
and steady cold nights, like tankers
to tow the next gale in.
More or less crucially, across the isles,
acts exceed themselves, like trout mouthings;
a cement mixer bays at the daylight moon,
and Martha marches after her dad with a bucket,
both are naked from the waist up,
and elswhere a big timber frame goes up
as a little but-and-ben tumbles down
and the leg-hobbled, baby-faced Texal tup
scores a dial in the sodden yard
his big moment having come and gone
as the boy on the quadbike,
goes round and round the same crag,
tearing up the bog with his tyres,
the head-light and the tail-light at the brink
of the geo.

Jen Hadfield

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