David Wheatley




Laid plateau-wide like a tablecloth the snow and winter is set.

Blin drift, sneepa, owerblaw, skifter, feucher, skirlie, wauff.

Turning white I will keep the red stripe over my eye.

Upended bog cotton paint brushes standing in their dirty brown water.

Pass me going down/coming up on our seasonal funicular circuit.

Sea level falls away like the shingle under a sea-swimmer’s feet.

Tonsured heads of far-away hills waking on hay bales of cloud.

Croaking in Gaelic I will not surrender my false Greek p.

Stop-go motion blur of the mink who comes after and predates me.

Playfully towards me the summit lobs the small white ball of a snow bunting.

The horn-tack snowshoe effect, the fan-tail spread like a card trick.

White I cannot see the white for the white for the.

Cannot hear the thought of you for your sudden thundering noise.

Black still black the ptarmigan’s eye patch coquettishly fluttered against the snow.

DAVID WHEATLEY lives in rural Aberdeenshire and is the author of various collections of poetry with Gallery Press. His Contemporary British Poetry is published by Palgrave.

Read more by David Wheatley:

Poem in Eyewear
Poem in The Guardian
Poem in Wales Arts Review