Scottish poet – Nicola Geddes

In Praise of Grey

Far from black and white
now the season of grey
in all its rainbow light

sea grey, rain grey
wet granite day grey
pewter, silver and slate

I love the softness
the uncertainty
things lose their weight

into hooded crow grey
low cloud so grey
feather, dust and smoke

today I lost three islands in the bay
half of this poem
and my keys, too, went that way

into hearth grey, house grey
earth grey, mouse grey
shadow, ash and lead

But I will find traces
grey only misplaces
Loss wears a cloak
of a different shade.


i spend night after night
in the company of crows
we peck the tideline
at the sea of minutia
hop back from the ripples
among the shingle and the glidders

and you will say:
are crows nocturnal?
knowing they are not.
you, who gently sail
from shore to shining shore
safe in your slumberboat

we spread our inky wings
ascend a grey sky
it may not sound like singing to you
but the music from our feathered throats
is raw and beautiful
as a lunar landscape.

The Ark Veterinary Clinic

Blue; the cleanest of shades
far removed from trauma and blood
but echoes linger, unseen in corners, to flood
my porous skin. The table is wiped clean.

Please leave him on the floor

Little vials, colour coded, remedies and vaccines
needles from drawers with long silver handles
cupboards soften their contents with frosted glass panels
and what colour for sleep, what colours fade

As breathing becomes slower

The pale dog in the dark, the dark dog in the light
one crosses the sea of consciousness in the Ark
the other slips under the deep blue waves
and out of sight.


Above, a crescent moon
poised, still bright
Below, my wellies sink
and slip in banks
of bladderwrack and kelp
Across a sea of silk
the rose-tinted Burren stretches

Hello I say to a single crow
who eyes me sideways
like the proprietor
of an upmarket boutique

Salthill, a high window
catches the first ray
a trumpet of light
announces sunrise
more windows blaze
into this morning’s
Golden Fanfare

And now it is day
the sea sighs over the stones
the Burren gathers herself
back to lilac grey

Plenty I say to the emptiness
where the crow was
and again, to the wide space
all around me
there is plenty

About the contributor

Originally from Scotland, Nicola Geddes studied Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art, and Cello Performance at the London College of Music. She has been based in County Galway for the past twenty five years, where she works as a cellist and music tutor. To date her poetry has been published in Crannog, the Galway Review, and Skylight 47. In 2017 Nicola’s poems received a Special Commendation from the Patrick Kavanagh Award.

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