It was wonderful to join ace Highland fiddle player Duncan Chisholm and Perthshire poet Jim Mackintosh for an online video collaboration this summer.
Jim read Norman MacCaig’s “‘This is July’ while Duncan and I played Phil Cunningham’s lovely slow air ‘House in Rose Valley’. Spot the cameo appearance by a Beauly Blackbird.
by Norman MacCaig
A bird’s voice chinks and tinkles
Alone in the gaunt reedbed –
Working late into the evening.
I sit and listen. The rooftop
With a quill of smoke stuck in it
Wavers against the sky
In the dreamy heat of summer.
Flowers’ closing time: bee lurches
Across the hayfield, singing
And feeling its drunken way
Round the air’s invisible corners.
And grass is grace. And charlock
Is gold of its own bounty.
The broken chair by the wall
Is one with immortal landscapes.
Something has been completed
That everything is part of,
Something that will go on
Being completed forever.
Duncan Chisholm on 30th June wrote on his social media pages: “As we ease from June into July I’m delighted to team up with Jim Mackintosh & Hamish Napier to bring you my favourite Norman MacCaig poem of all. This is ‘July Evening’ along with Phil Cunningham’s beautiful ‘House in Rose Valley’ Hope it brings you peace today. #COVIDCeilidh”