(for Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins)

Written to celebrate the "a_pilgrimage" touring film festival organised by Tilda and Mark. This poem was read out by Tilda before a screening in Nairn on Sunday the 9th of August 2009.

A_Pilgrimage (with apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer)

Whan that Auguste with hir beaming sunne

Hath piercèd folorn dookings to the rote

And alle its early risings and soul arousing settes

Have stirred in each of all us that dévine restlessnesse

To discover something more, beyonde,

To find a place, conditiòne, a common bonde

So pricketh dreams in hir courages

Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimàges


One such journey have we here

Beneath high skies

So wide-flung, clear

The curlew’s cry

The ranging deer

The osprey’s hover,

Diving fall


Blessed by beauty

We, now, all


Not in solemn duty


To let imagination play

In the State of Cinema





© John Mackie, Cawdor and Nairn, August 8th and 9th