The coca-cola water of this river
pours and pools in sudden calm
between the rocky arms of land,
and here an otter coils,
coils, and turns over himself
like a sleek eel in the singing water.
The river’s voice is spilling over.
The call of a loch is deeper.
My known words are so much smaller,
they can’t hold everything
the way that water can hold
the slick mud of its bed,
every sunken stone, unblinking fish,
a floating branch or leaf on its surface,
even the abandoned plastic bag
with all its weight of meaning.
The whole vast, shifting sky
is held. A high bird
passing far above
becomes, in the loch’s eye,
a deep bird
moving fathoms underneath.
The world seen and understood,
beyond the reach of language.
Image Credit: Elaine Morrison
Sophia Argyris was born in Belgium to an English and Greek family, and grew up in the North of Scotland. Her work has been published widely, including in Magma, Spelt, The Seventh Quarry and Under the Radar. She was a winner of the Candlestick Press Wonky Animals Competition in 2023.