Kathleen Jamie Poems for late winter and spring

Kathleen Jamie Poems for late winter and spring

Kathleen is a Scottish poet and essayist, raised in Currie, near Edinburgh.
A poem by Jamie is inscribed on the national monument at Bannockburn. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In August 2021, she was appointed as the fourth holder of the title of Scots Makar. The Makar is the national poet laureate of Scotland.

Late Winter

The Dash

Every mid-February
those first days arrive
when the sun rises
higher than the Black
Hill at last. Brightness
and a crazy breeze
course from the same airt –
turned clods, gleam, the trees’
topmost branches bend
shivering downwind.
They chase, this lithe pair,
out of the far south
west, and though scalding
to our wintered eyes
look, we cry, it’s here

The Shrew

Take me to the river, but not right now,
not in this cauld blast, this easterly
striding up from the sea
like a bitter shepherd-

and as for you, you Artic-hatched, comfy-looking geese
occupying our fields,
you needn’t head back north anytime soon.

Snow on the mountains, frozen ploughed clods-
Weeks of this now, enough’s enough
but when my hour comes, let me go like the shrew

Right here on the path; spindrift on her midget fur,
Caught mid-thought, mid-dash

Spring is Coming


When we walk at the coast
And notice, above the sea,
A single ragged swallow
Veering towards the earth-
And blossom-scented breeze,
Can we allow ourselves to fail

The Blue Boat

How late the daylight edges
toward the northern light
as though journeying
in a blue boat, gilded in mussel shell

with, slung from its mast, a lantern
like our old idea of the soul

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