Kathleen Swann

Kathleen Swann, a North Yorkshire poet with roots in Cumbria and a deep love of the countryside, its soft beauty and raw reality, admires the characters who live and work in isolated and difficult areas, and seeks to reflect this in her work.

Staffa Harp
Barkin Farm, 2017

You are the nose of a dolphin
breaking the waves of sound
from a resonating bird’s wing
you are the prow of a boat
searching for the wind’s breath
through a whispering sail
your warm wood frame is smooth
against my knees, my arms
as my hands slip easily across
tight lines of gut and steel
ready for fingers to release
the music of your soul
bright notes lift me to
the wildness of volcanic cliffs
filled with young birds waiting
in the certainty that a parent
will return from beneath the water
with fish for hungry mouths
bass tones carry me into
dark caves formed by columns
of black basalt thrown from deep
within the earth long ago
a gaping mouth reverberating
with ancient Celtic song

Kathleen Swann

Poem published in Poetry Scotland, 2017

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