My Silence, My Violence

My Silence, My Violence

Today I went to the ponies 
who listen to ground in ways I can only dream of

I touched their moulting coats 
all broken up after the rain

last year, when the ground was still primrosy
my friend spoke of proposed hydro schemes in Glen Kinglass
I cried, all broken up

yesterday, eleven months on
my friend told me the schemes were going ahead
I cried, all broken up 

I don’t know how it’s come to this 

perhaps the passing of brown envelopes,
substandard bird surveys, vested interests, 
perhaps the muscular slither of big business 
chasing government incentives, cash-hungry land owners

I don’t know how it’s come to this

but I do know that hydro schemes have been approved 
a strong stone’s throw away from an active Golden Eagle eyrie
in a glen as close to wild as is possible in this century

a damning indictment

my gut roils at what others have allowed - professional bodies that could have, should have, done better. My gut roils at what I have allowed - I am marred with the violence of my own silence; between the flow of last year’s and this year’s tears, I have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop it. I have sat on high hills dreaming, fucking dreaming
that it couldn’t possibly - just no way - turn out like this

I think of the shapes the Golden Eagles have drawn round me all year
bold cool-as-you-like ellipsis, how they kept me believing 
I think of holding a juvenile last July
being ringed by a man electric with integrity
who wished all the best in a breaking world
for the bird with her battering heart 
and goldering eyes

I think about how I was speechless 
charred by the burning scent 
of an eaglet about to fledge

I think about how I have been smouldering ever since 

yes, hydro schemes are important 
for Argyll, for Scotland, for Earth 
but how about putting them in the Sitka plantations, territories already
screwed over, their burns embittered with acid
or in other steep places already seamed with infrastructure

don’t let's rip up the last of the wilder places
don’t let's dampen the eagle fire 
don’t let's muffle the voices springing clear from peat and granite 
don’t let's cut out tongues of the Alders and Oaks who know more
about carbon-sinking than we ever will 

for fuck's sake
just don’t let's drop

beyond the pale

let's raise the bar, until our ways
might be worthy of an eagle’s keen gaze
and the ponies’ patient waiting in the rain