Issue 22 – Spring 2012 – Thomas A. Clark

Thomas A. Clark


Nine Poems

at the entrance
to the glen
a broch
commanding access
exacting tribute


the retreat of a glacier
scoured out this space
or hollow to come into
always early
as if it were newly
cut by ice


glittering in gneiss
snowflakes on the eyelashes
frail songs by torrents


there is a mountain
where there should be sky
it stands in the way
leaning over to intimidate
anything that moves


the high snow slopes
sweetened by wind
touch blue
they draw the eye
to cornices


don’t flinch
let the wind slice through
connective tissue
defensive attitudes
ramparts of the hill fort


not as a stranger
you move surely
through the lonely places
surely not a stranger


the waters of the lochan
run before a breeze
for the cover
of reeds and sedges
rocking the pondweed


live in it
for a time
the quiet



Thomas A Clark’s early books were published in the US by The Jargon Society. More recent collections are The Path To The Sea (Arc Publications 2005), Of Woods & Water (Moschatel Press 2008) and the book-length poem The Hundred Thousand Places (Carcanet 2009). The poems investigate the experience of walking in the lonely landscapes of the western highlands and islands of Scotland. For an indication of Thomas A Clark’s work away from the page, see