Your Country

by George Gunn

Your country is sold off
in 45,000 acre parcels
at £25 million a go
by the inventor of the sticky back label
who bought it from
a down on his luck laird
who in turn bought it off
a minor psychopathic pirate chief
who covered the ground in blood
& at the point of a sword
claimed your country as his own
as the people were moved abroad
or cut down like fields of hay
& fed to the giant white horse of history
your country is weeping
your country is singing
the pibrochd of the land
the clarsach of the sea
the piob mor of justice
our declaration is the Tree of Strings
with the strath full of a strange
& ancient language 
which comes out of the ground
& is covered in pollen
& the dust from a butterflies wing
some 50,000 years ago
when someone laid flowers on a grave
your country is ceremony & memory
but is your country still
passed on through civilisations
from Iron Age brochs
to the primary school playing fields
where the laughter of bairns
nourishes the ground
like sunshine & rain
they claim nothing but their lives
their joy
your country these voices
stretching out over the landscape
& the sea

back to the oak grove
forwards to the shore



George Gunn was born in Thurso in 1956 where he still lives. He has been a deep-sea fisherman, a driller for oil in the North Sea, a journalist, playwright and poet.



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