Niall Campbell: Thrum
I’ve been thinking too much about the night
I slipped and the coal scattered on a snowed drive.
Then, it was time spent in luck’s appleyard
gathering black apples; or it was time
collecting what I’d left too long to gather,
a harvest all wilt and harrowed – anyway,
it was time spent, and I held the steel bucket,
filled it to the sound of nothing at all.
The noisemakers left some time ago,
this dead hive in a forest log.
Its larvae found dark and stiff,
lodged like ship bolts in the comb.
Old honey wails for a mouth.
Surely someone will find it, rouse
its husk into a thrum of nothing.
Sea Coins, Scotland
like rain’s own tender fossil-print;
or a drowned man’s blue kiss, given over
to the great swell that took him home
by its straight and coldest route.
Oxidised copper: sweet, burdened trader;
purged of its minting date, its monarch,
everything but its blue-blue map,
setting the borders of its country.
Do you recall how I told you of the woods
outside the French town: moth heavy, a perfume
of sackcloth emanating from the scrub.
I add to this the dark bloom of a life
discovered, pursed and fat, beside the slope.
How I wish I’d cut it from the branch.
Niall Campbell is originally from the Western Isles of Scotland. He studied English Literature at Glasgow University, and in 2009 went on to complete an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews.
In 2011 he received an Eric Gregory Award and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. His work has been published in magazines including: Poetry Review, Magma, The Dark Horse, and The Literateur.
His first pamphlet, After the Creel Fleet, was released by Happenstance Press in March 2012.