Miles, and nothing alive
though an oystercatcher
calls somewhere, sadly.
Dykes twist to the horizon.
Where are the men who built them?
Gone to Nova Scotia
with their pipes and neckerchiefs.
On either side of the walls,
new wire restrains livestock
that’s not there either,
to show that someone, somewhere,
owns this land, has a grant to prove it.
I climb, emerge onto the crest,
and a hare bounds off into cloud.
On top, with its boulders and sheep skulls,
its faint scars of ditch,
with a hollow wind through the thorns,
Grennan nails empty land to empty sky.
The Old Fort at Grennan
1 August 2017