The Dash

Spring might just be on it’s way after all. We’ve had a whole week of dry weather which is very welcome indeed after all the rain we’ve been having since Christmas. Although it is very cold ( oh yes that wind can slice the skin ) it is a tonic to have clear blue skies overhead and to feel the sun again. My garden is slowly beginning to recover and harden from the sludgy waste ground it had become. There are spots of colour too reaching out in the few daffodils forgotten since last year and the bursts of new growth by the roadside. Every bit of this is long awaited, long earned.

I came across a poem which expresses this beautifully. It is called ‘The Dash’ and it is written by Kathleen Jamie whose book ‘The Overhaul‘ was shortlisted for this years Costa Book awards. Kathleen is from the West of Scotland and her work has been honoured with many awards throughout her career. ‘The Overhaul’ is a collection of poems which seem to breathe the landscape where Kathleen is from. There is an engaging use of Scots speech in her poetry, much of which has similarities to gaelic and this gives the writing warmth and musicality. There are many similarities between Scotland and Connemara – the wildness and the ferocity of nature’s relationship with the land and the gentleness of it too – the beauty of the everyday and all it’s treasures.




The Dash



Every mid-February

those first days arrive

when the sun rises

higher than the Black

Hill at last. Brightness

and a crazy breeze

course from the same airt –

turned clods gleam, the trees’

topmost branches bend

shivering downwind.

They chase, this lithe pair

out of the far south

west, and though scalding

to our wintered eyes

look; we cry, it’s here



Kathleen Jamie



Image of Hawthorn by the roadside by Deborah Watkins

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