Scottish artist brings fresh air to London

for Joan Eardley

Tempest or ruffle, puff or typhoon,
what will it be this air to drive out
smoke and fog and bring in the light?
Let it be a lemon breeze
from the Summer Fields, a zephyr
wafting the stink of may weed
with clover’s sweetness,
or make it a gust of fish gut blown
over Salmon Nets and the Sea,
buffeted till scales fly up
as so many silver flashes.
What of Catterline in Winter,
a blast, all rush and swirl as snow
crisps along the lanes in a sharp
intake, a gasp with a blue edge
and a whisper of gifts to come,
or might The Wave in its grey squall
fling salt and specks of foam
onto faces so keen for a draught
of the faraway, a familiar, yet
unfamiliar, land and sea and sky.

Biography: Kate Noakes is a PhD student at the University of Reading researching contemporary British and American poetry. Her most recent collection is The Filthy Quiet (Parhtian, 2019). Goldhawk Road is forthcoming from Two Rivers Press in 2023.