I’m often inspired by writers’ homes. This poem came from an afternoon at Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott’s country residence.
Walter Scott’s Garden, 2019
After the rain, I walk your trail.
buzz by barbed-wire leaves
and thistle-stems, wide as my thigh:
fistula heads, purple shocks
blazing a flat sky.
I see you at your writing desk
alone by a waning moon –
and your hand is curled
and your back is curled
and chieftains and kings are made,
thrashing their foes by loch and glen
by the flash of a deathly blade.
I think of you sipping a cup of tea
dressed in black with a watch and chain.
The mist of you through the window,
a bed of thistle-down.