16 December 2012


It's nearly the end of the year. Time has passed, as is its wont.

For now, as this is likely to be my last post until the New Year, I'll leave you with the poem Andrew Motion longlisted for the Rialto prize, which is a favourite of hare-lover (and painter) Claudia Massie. This poem is also dedicated to her son, Luca.

Baud is an old word for hare. When I lived on the Carse of Stirling they were my constant familiars. Here's Durer's famous 'young hare':


Everyday child a muckle band of bauds crouch flatly in a private ring
chucking & staring across the carse, or do such strange other things

now that winter is dead & their forms unfrozen. One lanky baud lopes
up the tarmac & stares glassy-eyed into the fenced-off garden & mopes

before cantering off bandy-hocked - two months before the same baud
was hungry & wistful in the heaped up snow, never closer then the ford

that crosses the old carse road a way north, cutting icy blades with his teeth.
Just so the muckle band creep to the fence & when folk are within their reach

race together to a new private ring & dance outside human grasp, long legs
& ears jerky like the wind that spring has quickened. Then silence. Time lags.

They take to their forms, switch them daily. The private rings disperse or die
& the bauds drop leverets on four feet & tell them to run. The old bauds cry

& settle into their last shapes but the wee bauties scratch & gallop & grow their
magic quickly, they want in to the ring; they learn to keep the secrets of air

& body quiet inside, then flare sometimes blue like a harebell's autumn flame
as they run with the passing ghosts that blur beside them & no-one can name.


  1. beautiful my friend! I love it!

  2. Gracias! It loves you.