National Poetry Day: Nithstalgia

Today is National Poetry Day! (8th October) So I thought for that reason I’d share with you a new poem I wrote especially for this season, and it is one I have fairly recently been working on. I hope you enjoy reading it!

* * *


The Nith.
So still, so beautiful.
A duck padded where I used to run.
So serene, so peaceful and genteel.
I had not remembered it this way.
Robert Burns was right.
I was breath-robbed; washed to tears.
The bridge I used to run over click-clack to play hockey.
The views I used to paint, from over
the field. There, sheep stood grazing
in a rural vision of utopian bliss,
on the edge of sandy banks of red,
as they might have for years:
riparian contentedness.
Completely unaware of Tesco Express.
Standing under a drooping beech,
feathered ash, splayed chestnut,
Stillness; still, still, still.

Rat holes stuffed with plastic bottles,
Some friendly fisher-drunks who said hello,
High on midday cans of McEwan’s Export,
Musing over the death of a washed-up
bloody salmon we saw together: They
All won’t feature in this poem. Not today.

I was dismayed by its majestic
beauty. I had never seen a place so
close, so lovely; so of me and with
me. In the dewy September heat it
was courtly, so sweet. Russet rust
fell feather-light into dust.
Galloway hills’ alluvium rolling
onward to the sea: passed my eyes
in slow motion, endlessly.
All time stretched in one yawn to this
moment, from then to now and back
Up the sleepy valley,
Past where the rowers raced,
To county cricket and tennis courts,
Where I battled to hit, to prove, to win.
Autumn leaves fell one by one,
Each one seeming to whisper close
in my ear,
a name; John Anderson, my jo, John.


8 October 2015

© Annie Copland 2015.

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