Poem introduction

This is a ‘seize the day’ poem dealing with the ambivalences of love. It is set on a deserted beach in Shetland where I had found a big heart-shaped stone and had set it up high in a cleft of the cliff and hoped to find it when next I visited. The islands have a complex geology with fault lines and discontinuities. Most words are onomatopoeic: ta wael is to select; sandiloo is the ringed plover; ta greet is to weep; the lönabrak is the surge of breakers on the shore.

Discontinuity

I could blame da wye da sea is smoothed
da steyns; da sylk o touch, da waelin, laevin;
an will da haert be dere whin I come back?

Or I could blame da saandiloo. He wis clear
whit wye ta geng: dis wye noo, nae luikin
owre your shooder. Tide dusna wait;

see da wye da swill o joy is drained.
Dance daday. Damoarn you slip
inta eternity.

Or I could blame da hush at fills you
til you’re lik ta burst wi aa da wirds
at could be said but you hadd back.

Hit’s whit happens whan you step
in time, but sense a fault-line vimmerin
trowe you: dis side or dat?

Only da sea can greet an sing at da sam time:
shade an licht; cobalt, ultramarine an dan
da lönabrak – a tize, a frush o whicht.


from Dat Trickster Sun: Poems (Mariscat Press, 2014), © Christine De Luca 2014, used by permission of the author

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1a 14th way of looking at a blackbird

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2At Sixty

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3Avoirdupois

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4Baffled

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5Blur

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6Dat Trickster Sun

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7Discontinuity

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8Disorientation

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9Downhill

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10Edinburgh gifts

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11Edinburgh volte face

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12Free Movement

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13Getting to know you

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14Grizdale in Spring

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15Into The Ordinary Day

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16Journey

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17Kunyu Quantu - A Map of the Whole World

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18Light Show at the Botanics

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19Love in a caald climate

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20Lustre

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21Meeting Vulcan

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22On the death of my mother at midsummer

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23Ritual Cleansing

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24Sang o da makker

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25Sang on laevin

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26Severed

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27Signs and wonders

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28Sisters

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29Snow Dance

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30Soondscapes

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31Spelling it out

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32Still being

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33Streams in the desert

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34The Boy in the man

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35The White Heather Club

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36Tievin wir metadata

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37Tree Frog

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38Upbeat @ Seventy

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39What's in a name

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