Damp, arrhythmic, upon an anorak hood,
soft blown rain gifts a latitude
blurring hell’s acre, where dumped kale self-seeds
and formally, from well-farmed scenes, secedes.

Galvanic wire, a tautologic fence
––tight, long-drawn, intense––
is stretched for wintered cows
to stop them roaming.

In one green field a brace of duck
and an alarming redshank fly right up;
in another, a knackered Volvo, bronze,
shoots the breeze with rooks, and reflects in ponds.

Along the shore small gulls en masse
shall undulate yet never pass
up sandeels from a breaking wave
nor smörgåsbord from skerry,

till hollowed whelk with battered beer-can lies,
elevated as detritus
caught awhile in some wrecked seiner’s
polypropylene mesh.

Yet from this high-flung muck we are all gainers,
we’d moralise amiss
upon life’s bruck on a stripped-down beach
with less and less of this,

but only that squat lump
of blown, unloved aeolianite,
on which may rain, wind, verve & patience suit
to let vetch drill, and clumpy sea pink root.

Ring-net herring fisher, sea kayak coach, green socialist campaigner, English teacher and Arvon tutor, John hangs in Hoy, under a cracking mountain, raising carrots and planting aspen.