Caught by the River

Migratory 1: A poem by Kathleen Jamie

30th October 2015

A detail of the front cover of ‘The Bonniest Companie’. Art by Olivia Lomenech Gill

Mind that swan? The whooper we found neck slack on the turf, head pointing north like a way-sign, how you stooped and opened its wing? I paid scant heed to your naming of parts: coverts, ulna, primaries being scunnert with the place, its gales and sea-roar — but this wing — this was a proclamation! The wind-fit, quartz-bright power of the thing! A radiant gate one could open and slip through… We dragged the swan to the lee of an old dyke tucked it in neat, a white stone, then trudged up out of the glen. At the ridge again, we got clouted properly, staggered on, half elated, half scared.

Taken from the collection ‘The Bonniest Companie'(Picador). Available to purchase in the Caught by the River shop.

Kathleen will be joining us at Caught by the River Calder, 22-24 January. More information