Portrait of David
-by J.F. Hendry
Out of a lightning void who clutched blue rivers
Spins a shell-flower head on sea-screened floors.
An echo coils an ear in Fingal’s Cave
Along whose flickering shores he plucked his eyes
And hirples lighthouse space down pebbled chin.
His frowning knuckles doubling are the rainbow
Clenching fists of cloudy Scottish thunder.
Ribs, once wrecked ships sunk on a broken beach,
Now swell a chest of treasure in screw sand, or
Blast a southron air with Highland spleen.
Sabre-toothed, the tiger Hebrides thrust
And parry sea. The sleeping lipline pins
On space awakened purpose, is a mastodon.
A gnarled kneecap, or an elm down a glen,
Forge spring-knots for the kilted saunterers.
Out of the dark-green jar who grasped light arching,
Hoards electric sun in branching arms.
The mottled trunk-one, wrenched from silver birch,
Remembers brindling Cluny in a Braemar storm,
Fire-talk, venison, we happy winterers.