Poetry: Kathleen Jamie

Congratulations to Kathleen Jamie, the new Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland for 2021 -2024. The position of Makar was created in February 2004 by the Scottish Government and supported by Creative Scotland.
Learn more

The Wishing Tree
Kathleen Jamie

I stand neither in the wilderness
nor fairyland

but in the fold
of a green hill

the tilt from one parish
into another.

To look at me
through a smirr of rain

is to taste the iron
in your own blood

because I hoard
the common currency

of longing: each wish
each secret assignation.

My limbs lift, scabbed
with greenish coins

I draw into my slow wood
fleur-de-lys, the enthroned Brittania.

Behind me, the land
reaches toward the Atlantic.

And though I’m poisoned
choking on the small change

of human hope,
daily beaten into me

look: I am still alive—
in fact, in bud.


  • Amy Lehman

    Amy Lehman is the program coordinator for NHSCOT in Concord, New Hampshire. She has worked at art and cultural non-profits since the early 2000’s and at NHSCOT since 2018. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, running, and gardening. Originally from Virginia, she sadly, can claim no Scottish roots – the closest she can come are proud bits of Norwegian and Irish ancestry.

Similar Posts