Ploughing deep furrows in the black wet earth
yields mummified branches of ancient trees.
Rivers run straight as the mythical career of heroes;
old roads meander like comfortable lives.
No hills, nothing for houses to nestle in,
your every deed is seen by your neighbours’ God.
This stark grandeur challenges even self–deception;
you glare back at the emptiness, or you run.
This poem was published in the November 2001 edition of Island (Scotland).