if our thoughts are no more us than water is

if words have weight and weightlessness at once

if deep time stretches forward as well as back
and the names of future ages are already known

if stopping to look at a birch leaf in the rain,
and then keep looking, is a political act

if the cobweb woven in the wind
between clumps of heather
thrumming with minute sonorities
is an extension of the spider’s mind

if deer are to mountain as waves are to sea

if we’re stalked by the land as a robin by a cat,
as the mantis stalks the moth on the flower head

then our souls would be forest
with earth of roots and worms, wood ants,
mycelia, the filaments and cilia
of an unmeasurable whole

then in libraries there would be bats to stitch
the dark together with the dark

then stocks and buddleia would slowly
tease apart our walls
until the stones returned to earth
and earth was once again compacted into stone

then gardening would be dissidence

then we’d walk the echoing rooms
of our imaginations
feeling for bark and moss

then every microbe in the gut and in the grave
would be precious

then the tiny, patient hammers of the world
would ring out in us, through us, all around

Garry MacKenzie is the author of Scotland: A Literary Guide for Travellers, and has won the Wigtown Poetry Competition and a Scottish New Writer Award. Find him online at garrymackenzie.com.