Art Chowder May | June 2017, Issue 9 - Page 28

JonAthan JOHNSON Glenelg, First Night – Gus am bris an là Out from this croft house opens the comfort of black mountains and black sea, black wind flattening black grass, black granite and black names, names with sharp shape and names become smooth black rain, black wind, black sheep white snowflake specks high on the dead bracken hill today—Sheep don’t get cold, a boy with whom I share seven hundred years of people here told me—black tractor, black hay, black Skye ferry tied to a black pier, black school, black shop, narrow black road in cursive down from Ratagan Pass, black Riverfoot Cottage where the Glenmore meets the black Sound of Sleat, black sound of wind at the window, black ceiling of cloud scrolling fast, black smoke from the chimney, black heart, black blood in black veins, black ink in the dark, a hundred and two years since my great grandfather slept in this black glen, my silver car, black out on the black gravel drive, black lichen on black rock-stacked fence up steep slopes by hands become dirt, black maple, black grass, fifteen black white and black collie pups drowsing at their mothers’ black teats, black peat, black quilt, black pillow, black sheets, and I, who have never slept here, am back and drift— no, not drift, touch ground to sleep in the comfort of black mountains and black sea, the infinity of color in black, until the day breaks. – for Cousin Catherine First published in Witness 28 ART CHOWDER MAGAZINE