We have a settee and two chairs
in our living room and whichever one
you care to sit on you will be given
a different perspective of the sea.
From the settee, you will be able
to see the harbour, the smokehouse
and, in the distance, the lighthouse
and the ruins of Lady Janet’s tower.
Sit in one of the chairs and the break-
water comes into view that and the other
side of the Firth of Forth. In the last remaining
chair, all you can really see will be the sea
and, on a clear day, a glimpse of either
the Bass Rock or the Isle of May. A settee
and two chairs; sit anywhere and close your eyes;
you will still be able to hear the waves.
The Eight Brocades
Almost every morning, unless it is too cold,
I practice the Eight Brocades, or Baduanjin, whilst
looking out the living room window.
Depending on the state of the tides, I see
either water or rocks, or mostly a mixture of the two.
The bird I look for is the heron. He is
my Qi Gong partner; less noisy than the gull,
less busy than the oystercatcher, far more centred
than the dunlin or the knot. Of course,
he has no way of knowing that he is my chosen
one. He stands with his feet in a rock pool while I
get on with my practice. Once I have finished,
I make myself a cup of gunpowder tea.
By the time it has brewed, and is ready to drink,
the heron has usually flown away.
Copyright © Gordon Meade 2016
His latest collection is Les Animots: A Human Bestiary, a collaboration with the artist Douglas Robertson (Cultured Llama Publishing 2015). These poems will feature in his next collection, The Year of the Crab.