Poem of the week: Yellowbells by Lucy Burnett

WITH summer ever more notional in Scotland, we have to take our sunny moments where we find them.

And “Yellowbells” by Lucy Burnett has something of the summer about it, a summer as impossible, perhaps, as the yellowbells of the title. Its taken from her impressive debut Leaf Graffiti (Carcanet, £9.95), a collection that switches its focus between the urban and rural; Burnett was an environmental campaigner for many years, and now teaches creative writing at the University of Strathclyde.

somewhere is a place

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i don’t know yet and i’m

walking there

my girlfriend clasps

my hand in hers and tells

me all about the flowers

i’m not quite sure

about the bluebells

being yellow in disguise

but before we know it

we’ve arrived a disappointment

quite so beautiful

the sun is shining through

the dumpling clouds

and the daffodils are blue

we name our destination

for the non-existent

fields of yellowbells

You can borrow Leaf Graffiti from the Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Edinburgh EH8 8DT. Tel: 0131-557 2876, e-mail [email protected] or see www.spl.org.uk for details.