and there are days in late spring
when the first sun at five in the morning
stains yellower than the brightest of beach sands,
than the glowing beads in the metalworkers’ stone pan,
the undulating heather, the piles of random stone
that fence in pasture and wood –

this is night’s end now,
though hardly night, the white hours
between those extravagant displays of sunset and sunrise
grazed with the lapwings’ flailing, the curlews’ bleak screams,
the silent but necessary malevolence of owls,
that haunt the riverside barns.

and there is the green cairn still
in the ridge field below Harelaws where
the skin trace of the copper workers, the goldsmiths,
is grey grease in the clay and a voice so distant that only
the sharpest of rodent ears can hear
the lost words