It’s Spring. Where I live in Fife, I’ve loved seeing the snowdrops appear – every year, a welcome portent of things to come. So tiny and bright, the first signs of life returning. Usually, when they first appear in late January or early February, there’s more weather yet to come. They bring with them an attendant concern; it’s a time of crossed fingers and held breath. Plucky plants and animals emerging from the dark.
I’ve always been a city-dweller, until I moved to Fife in 2014. I grew up in sandstone and tarmac. Now I live surrounded by fields and forests, and find I’m often caught on the hop with how little I know about the way things are done here. I enjoy those moments, now – the knowing and not-knowing; aware of my blind-spots and always (always) quietly campaigning for leniency around what us city folk don’t know. Learning and rebalancing can’t come from a place of judgement or fear. There’s always a chance for things to work both ways, and we can hope to find common ground.
Which is maybe what Spring is. The time where we meet in the middle – find out what scares us, thrills us, makes us feel vulnerable or brave; what gives us joy, hope, curiosity.
Nearly 6 months into my work here with CEE, I find I’ve been researching and writing on a dizzying range of subjects and themes. The other day I found myself dotting between shaping poems on the history of petroculture in Iran, to seals and hydropower in Orkney, to dwarf planets in the Trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt. New events and unexpected collaborations are taking shape, more on that soon enough.
We have Fool’s Day soon, on April 1st. In tarot, The Fool is the spirit of Spring. The figure carries a small white flower – an offering to new beginnings and quite possibly getting things wrong.
In this spirit, I want to share a poem that isn’t finished yet. I wrote it after seeing a tractor in the field behind my cottage, working away in the dark. Reminding me of processes I know nothing about, on the surface – but can still feel connection to, and maybe notice something else instead. It’s one of those poems where the ending came first, and I have to work my way back to the start. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.
The daffodils are coming now. I have such exciting plans to share with you in the coming months!
Already announced is my poetry workshop at the Byre on 20 May (book soon! It was full last time) – and more to come…
My bunch of poems is growing.
This one definitely isn’t ready yet, so here it is in all its still-working-itself-out glory.
It will be in the new collection, so you can join me, when the time comes, in seeing how it all turns out.
The tractor turns the field at night,
aglow like a trawler at sea.
Beams of gold cast out across waves
of soil. Endeavour overheard in the dark.
Process assumes its surface incision,
pitched along dazzling paths –
an ocean of stone, seed;
soft creatures turfed out of quiet.
Fresh earth, the catch.