The Scottish Poetry Library is piloting a guest curatorship programme to help extend its national reach: four curators or “champions” will each commission five new pieces for its digital collection. These commissions will explore ideas of “vision,” which is the theme of National Poetry Day this year. One of the poems chosen is Roshni Gallagher’s “Dock Leaves.” She says: ‘The poem is about finding the space and freedom to exist fully in nature away from the othering gaze… Not just ‘belonging’ but being fundamentally and intrinsically connected to the Scottish countryside.”
Often, I want to flick shut Strangers’ eyelids.
I’m sick of anticipating my own othering. Thank god for places where people aren’t –
The green of the trees has always been a door To walk through and become whole.
The green sinks into me and the woods beat With spires of dock leaves,
Deep red, like a hundred bold hearts.
Who dared trick me Into thinking I was a guest?
Up ahead, the wild silver lake exists
For a brown girl
To crouch beside it and try to catch the frogs.
You can find the SPL’S “Champions” poems on the website of the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, which reopens on 17 August with a click and collect service. For enquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk