Documenting Britain

Landscape and Identity

My Documenting Britain project involves collaborating with film makers to create poetry-films which, through a conjunction of image and words, celebrate the complex relationship between landscape, literature, history and identity.

The Migrants

Grid Reference NH 84324 51149

We paused that morning by a stand of alder
and willow, where the Nairn buckles and curves,
unravelling north-east towards the Firth.

Sunlight was scribbling October in the water. One by one
the last birds let down, drawing their seams of thirst
across a pool, then banking over the trees

towards Cantraydoune. You told me how much
you envied that journey; how the tiny engine of the heart
impels them over mountains, oceans, deserts, as if love

were a place and always anywhere else but here.
And something inside me, though it knew it had no wings,
called out, and would have gone with them.

John Glenday