Rider at the Crossing - Jim Carruth

Rider at the Crossing
£ 4.00 each

Jim Carruth is from Renfrewshire. His background is in farming, from which much of his inspiration has hitherto been drawn. His first collection, Bovine Pastoral, came out in 2004, followed by four further pamphlet collections, most recently Working the Hill (Mariscat, 2011). He has acquired a reputation as Scotland’s leading rural poet, a man who brings farm and field together in lyric mode.

Rider at the Crossing is different from Carruth’s previous writing. The poems are wide-ranging, often unsettling, with an acute sense of human fragility. Perspectives shift rapidly, from local to global. At their heart is a man reflecting on life and mortality, a person who has—in more than one sense—reached a crossing.

Sample poem

Poem for Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon
(Died Cincinnati Zoo, 13.00 hours, 1st September, 1914)

The precision of extinction
counted down by man,
then counted out.

The final breath  
can have no memory
of all that went before,

millions upon millions,
voices filling the sky,
bodies darkening the sun.

Who will sing praises
to the ordinary and everyday
before they’re gone?

I would have named the lost
here in these few lines
if I thought you would grieve.

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