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Scurdie Ness


Scurdie Ness

Where the geese rise in long
Slow arrowheads, where the winter sun
Strikes like a flint at the low hills,
Where the sea scars in from Norway,
Sharp and colder than snow.

All afternoon we crabbed about that headland
Looking for agates, searching through the stones
For little bits of pink and white with rings.
Out on the edge of the sea a ship fought south;
The cormorants gathered in covens on the rocks.

We came back against the wind, hands raw like fleshless bone.
The sun sank into flames of cloud
And in a shudder the whole of Fife was wintered.
Our pockets rattled with knuckles of agate
As the first snow petalled across the hills.

                                   Kenneth C. Steven.

(Reproduced by kind permission of the author from the collection
‘IONA’, published by St. Andrew Press, Edinburgh. )



Scurdie Ness


Kenneth Steven is an outstanding contemporary poet and writer. His life involves much travelling and can be quite stressful, consequently there is nothing he enjoys more than a day’s peaceful agate collecting with us, which we usually manage to arrange each year. He finds some good specimens, too. Here is an example of one of his finds:

Kenneth’s Scurr Hill


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