and leaps across full ditches.

Wandering all over Europe very much at home
talking singing from shore to shore
gathering the daylight, long straight forest edges
like black cliffs, paths out of the backs of
suburban housing estates across abandoned
coal mine sites, miles of telegraph posts and electricity pylons
some with kestrels’ or storks’ nests on them.

The lines bend to the ground at points of regret For all I rue
and I rue and I rue (she turns her face towards)

Migrant workers, Jewish artists who fled central Europe
longing for home, old or new, remembering the particulars,
the forms and colours of molehills in the family meadow
The lonely desert-man sees the tents of the happy tribes
“Man with brother Man to meet,
And as a brother kindly greet” words
past nations / public words
distant hopes / whispered in the night,
far from the ken of the broadcasters.

“Horo Mhairi dhu, turn ye to me” (in the dance)
(in the dialect) an almost silent message threaded
from shore to shore by mountain and valley
corner shops and multi-storey car-parks, a sustained
assurance that silences the amplifiers.

From Due North. Reproduced with kind permission from Shearsman Books.