Waking with Russell

Whatever the difference is, it all began
the day we woke up face-to-face like lovers
and his four-day-old smile dawned on him again,
possessed him, till it would not fall or waver;
and I pitched back not my old hard-pressed grin
but his own smile, or one I'd rediscovered.
Dear son, I was mezzo del' cammin
and the true path was as lost to me as ever
when you cut in front and lit it as you ran.
See how the true gift never leaves the giver:
returned and redelivered, it rolled on
until the smile poured through us like a river.
How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men!
I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever.

From Landing Light, (Faber & Faber, 2003), copyright © Don Paterson 2003, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Where next?


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1Nil Nil



4An Elliptical Stylus

5Sunset, Visingso

6The Eyes



9On Going to meet a Zen master...


11The Lover

12God's Gift to Women


14A Private Bottling

1511:00 Baldova

16The Scale of Intensity




20The Thread

21Waking with Russell

22St. Brides: Sea-Mail

23The Hunt

24The Wreck

25Letter to the Twins


27The Fraud

28Sliding on Loch Ogil

29Zen Sang at Dayligaun

30The Landing

31The White Lie

Books by Don Paterson