Andrew Motion | 1952
- Present | England
I am behind you on the mainland, leaning
on your shoulder and pointing with one arm
in front of your face at weightless cinders
which are ravens blustering above the island.
Boulder clay on the outcrops, and beaches
dotted and dashed with coal dust. Guillemots
whitening the cliff face. Small orchids definitely
still evolving in a downpour of Arctic sunlight.
How many years are there left to cross over
and show you things themselves, not my idea
of things? Thirty, if I live to the age of my father.
I cannot explain why I have left it as late as this.
Your black hair blows into my eyes but I can see
everything moving fast now. Weather polishes
the silver fields ahead; the ravens swoop down
and settle among the gorgeous pages of the gospels.
Used by kind permission of the author