1000 Climate Hopes
Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie

What the Paperboat said..

When I was tree I believed
we’d stand forever, sighing
consorts of wind and rain
– till the Felling came,

when dragged from our hillside
we were stripped, pulped,
milled…Myself, I considered
fortunate, I just lay blank

in an upstairs room, before
at last, there came some scratching,
tears, then scorings out:
Dear John, Dear world,

dear god, the empty skies,
the poor burned animals..
But ach! Relief at last
to know a little passion, a little

hard-won poetry! With that,
my forest spirit quickened,
as though the wind,
prophesying friend,

had sought me out, saying
“Soon, you’ll change again.
Prepare to be folded
this way, that, creased,

turned, doubled again
till ship-shape, you’re
cargo’d with world-love
and give-a-damn,

then set sail, few at first,
but amassing into fleets,
entire horizon-filling armadas
sent from peoples everywhere

who’re crying ‘enough’!
Fly your colours, Paperboat.
I’ll speed you.
Demand a living earth.”

Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie is the author of the Sightlines trilogy. She is presently serving as Scotland’s National Poet