Alexandra Strnad

The Lammermuirs

The valley purple as a broken capillary
royal as Byzantium, indigo, mulberry

past Eildon Hills and The Cheviots
at the loneliest time –

that barren patch between Christmas
and New Year, when a dram of copper

is needed to get us to go anywhere,
he drove us to the highest point

past sleeping turbines, grouse moors
to see a sun slouch over lowlands

on the scarred cheek of the salt fish
road, where a blackface ram

wears his heavy fleece like armour
waiting for the curlew’s song,

and lapis lazuli mates with red ochre
for the immolation of earth.

We sat with the engine switched off,
winds nudging the chassis,

feeling ice bore down to the nub
of our spines, winter plating our boots.

AlexandraAlexandra read for her BA in English at Cambridge, and an MSt from Oxford in Creative Writing, for which she was awarded a distinction. Her poetry pamphlet H is for Hadeda was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2017.  Alexandra is Poet in Residence at Carfax Education.