About the poet
Kathleen Jamie (b. 1962) spent much of her early poetic career answering the question posed by...
In the centre of the sheep-field
a stand of Douglas firs
hold between them, tenderly,
a tall enclosure, like a vase.
How could we have missed it
before today - just never seen
this clear, translucent vessel
tinted like citrine?
What we noticed were pipistrelles:
cinder-like, friable; flickering
the place hained by trees
till the air seemed to quicken,
and the bats were a single
edgy intelligence, testing an idea
for a new form,
which unfolded, cohered
before our eyes. The world's
mind is such interstices; cells
charging with cool dawn light;
- is that what they were telling us?
- but they vanished, suddenly,
before we'd understood,
and the trees grew in a circle,
elegant and mute.
from The Tree House (Picador, 2004), copyright © Kathleen Jamie 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.
Kathleen Jamie Reading her own poems