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Cateran Ecomuseum

Of Bird And Sword

Jim Mackintosh, our poet in residence, has written a new poem. Beautiful and dark it summons us to dig deep into ourselves to find courage and embrace this ever changing age of uncertainty.



We met between blunt graves, stooped
by other’s parting. No tears remain just
fresh jolts of imagination, like tilted butterflies
trapped in a jar of sparks welded in the ravages
of artistic defiance and unforgiving seasons.

I’m bound with doubt yet hungry for the next storm.
Like bird or sword, only an iridescent scatter in fragile
hope fragments the shimmer and shards of confessions
eclipsed by mid-winter’s fold of velvet bleed, bolted
on to our brittle armour binding our hearts with rope.

Forbidden and ferocious, choristers and mourners
weave amongst us. The dying settled across winter’s
solstice as rain dissolves their lament through
the wounds of earth to nourish the swell of snowdrops.
A damp kiss settled under our feet to oil frosted hours

in solitude. I am of bird and of blade, of hours, of days
loving and dying slow. Your eyes of maternal certainty
heal my wounds. They gaze in to fires kindled in pavilions
of past springs beyond this dance of sanguine steps
unaware of you and I trapped in the trance of it all

so they mock and applaud. Will the budding leaves act
as our pillow? I need you here to find the answer.
I cannot embrace the future until I see the sun
held in your hand. To arrive is too leave again.
I can be neither bird nor sword without you anymore.

Jim Mackintosh

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