A Tune Between the Notes
How is it that the fiddler
has salmon jumping from her wrists
and hills, snow-capped, bent from
the same fingers that bend, too,
the slow sigh of vast seas
and storms too great for words?
Who ceilidhs through Caledonian
moonlights and plays for those
long gone to history, with home
resting against her chin,
birding speechlessly through breeze,
painting the grand landscapes of Scotia.
Who tunes a summer farm
from air, sowing crops, and tames
lightnings lying about the grass,
proceeding to throw whole rooms
through time with a tapping foot,
an elbow busy in the learned notes.
Who is a seeker and a wild flock flutter,
a bothy and its campfire, an old friend
with ghosts in the bow.
It is what she plays
but also what she doesn't play
in that space between two nowheres.
If a heart has strings it will be a fiddle.
If a soul is a thing that breathes
it will be a fiddler.
David Ross Linklater is a poet from Balintore, Easter Ross. He is the author of two pamphlets, most recently Black Box (Speculative Books, 2018) with another, Scenes from a God Movie, forthcoming in 2021. He was shortlisted for the 2020 Edwin Morgan award and is the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award. His work has appeared in New Writing Scotland, Gutter, DMQ Review and The Blue Nib, amongst others. He lives and writes in Glasgow. You can find him on Twitter here: @DavidRossLinkla.