David Linklater: a poem



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.