Book Week Scotland 2016

Friday's Book Week Scotland offering comes at night, which is fitting as it's a poem - by a different poet again! - called Night Terrors.



Susan Crow



Reeds, rude wind warped,

Whistle as spirits,

Filling the marsh with echo

And calling in past favours

From friars' lanterns

Above peated bog.


Rain drenched willows,

Seaweed-like, scourging

Sacrificial grey ash trees,

Dropping narrow, pointed leaves,

Wherever they touch,

Blanketing ditches.


The morass moves,

Trembling with marsh gas,

Nothing is static nor still.

Rushes quiver, shaken straws,

Leafy clumps shiver

To footfall of fay.


Illusion rules,

Mossy witchcraft makes

This waste a place of magic.

Sorcery in the sedges

Daubs with certainty

An order to come.


The path shapes soon,

Welcome as a friend,

Straight as a ribbon of steel.

Even so, a dark night's length,

Leading yet homeward

Towards the red dawn.


Peace paints the day,

While black shadows spit

At pewter dim trunks of trees,

In heavenly brilliance

Washing clean the sins

Of each yesterday.


Baptism, now

With clear blameless glow,

For the new world of morning.

Shadows lessen, white gulls drift,

Hovering, settling

With grey-caped jackdaws.


Apiece they wait.

There will be mercy,

Always kindness comes with day.

The dark journey has carried,

Through fear and trembling,

Soft night spilling ray.