My new project is to represent a particular period of Scottish history, with a contemporary flavour of course. You've already had my Oatcake One below. Here are some more:
Lydia sits framed against the sun
a wide brimmed hat to shade her eyes.
Behind her the green autumn hills roll like waves
to a distance, the collision of land and cooling sea,
the busy hum and grasp of nations.
Here she is Queen of Cats and Lawns,
her fingers webbed in sugar
and the light through fairy wings is like stained glass.
Each day is dizzy and endless.
Yet her name is known:
they mutter it already, enter it in treaties,
and the corridors she must walk down
are built and scarved in shadow.
Even as she’s an angel, the child’s a ghost.
The Harbour at Caerlaverock
Beyond the brazen red walls
of the postcard castle,
a no-man’s land of mulch
where ground meets sea and sky.
There you’re ambushed,
not by a cat-walk of nobles
in gay pavilions,
their ships riding in Solway regatta,
the re-enactors dream,
but by root and ghost,
shadows come across the black Firth
bound for Wardlaw and the shifting west,
brown men, knotted like wood,
sent to die at the eyelids of the world.