Together we stand
late in an autumn afternoon
in the doorway to the byre
father and son looking across
the lands of High Auchensale
to the long-shadowed milkers
still grazing in the corner field
and I the eldest, know
I've walked away from all this.

Not the partial commitment
of relief milkings on Saturdays
or a help at harvest time:
I've turned down the full embrace
of a life yoked to the soil
as the guardian of the herd
though we will not speak of it
not now or ever
letting our silence be a sign.

For you are my father
in much more than looks
and my real inheritance
is the handing down of being,
a shared passion for
what this place means.
Neither of us live here any more,
so each return journey
is a reconnecting.

And while we are able
we'll always come back
each of us to be judged in turn
by what we pass on to others,
but not now as we bring in the cows
Away back,
Get away back.

Two voices in the failing light
calling out together.
Jim Carruth was born in 1963 and grew up on his family's farm near Kilbarchan. He currently works across Scotland supporting community regeneration.

"Jim Carruth's recent poetry is freighted with his and his family's experience of farming. The tone is elegiac, but the images are always sharp and vital. His is a rare voice these days - one that is engaged in making a poetic record of an intimate but changing relationship with the land. His poetry has an insider's eloquence and an eye to catch the physical eloquence that surrounded him." (Tom Pow)

"In two short collections Jim Carruth has established the kind of distinctive voice that some poets struggle to achieve in a lifetime." (James Robertson)

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