AN ORKNEY CALENDAR

 

January
Crammed light. Its swathings. On the hill
Such light as is about the grail.
 
February
Fill dyke. And what will never fill, or fail,
Gun metal, pitiless, immovable.
 
March
Atlantics, and the driven wet
Americas of air, that weight.
 
April
Gulls stooping where the plough is laid,
The loamed flood lifting from the blade.
 
May
Miracles. Sven walking from the waves.
The one green tree with its leaves.
 
June
A swale of silver and its spill and race.
A bee swarm pulsing in the grass.
 
July
The oats’ silence. And the seas’,
A black fog trampling out each place.
 
August
A flail sings, loosening on stone
Each pure, gold vowel of the sun.
 
September
The sea’s fist, and its glut and freight:
A left shoe, oranges, a crate.
 
October
Candle end, and moth, and star.
Before words that they speak of here.
 
November
At Hoy, still, awful, terrible,
Within the air a lighted hill.
 
December
At Yule, star fire within the thorn,
A fish mouth stammering of corn.
 

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