The Hawk


On Sunday the hawk fell on Bigging
And a chicken screamed
Lost in its own little snowstorm.
And on Monday he fell on the moor
And the Field Club
Raised a hundred silent prisms.
And on Tuesday he fell on the hill
And the happy lamb
Never knew why the loud collie straddled him.
And on Wednesday he fell on a bush
And the blackbird
Laid by his little flute for the last time.
And on Thursday he fell on Cleat
And peerie Tom’s rabbit
Swung in a single arc from shore to hill.
And on Friday he fell on a ditch
But the rampant rat,
The eye and the tooth, quenched his flame.
And on Saturday he fell on Bigging
And Jock lowered his gun
And nailed a small wing over the corn.

Archie Bevan – Have you ever heard about the recitation of that poem at the school concert?
Mackay Brown – No.
Archie Bevan – Yes that was one of the ones . . .
Mackay Brown – Oh I see.
Archie Bevan – They even brought in a shotgun for the occasion!
Mackay Brown – Oh, made it realistic.
Archie Bevan – Much to the alarm of the natives!
Mackay Brown – Oh Lord.
Archie Bevan – They loved doing that one.

from Collected Poems (John Murray, 2005), by permission of Archie Bevan, Literary Executor for the Estate of George Mackay Brown. Recording from the private recordings of Archie Bevan, used with his permission.

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