Star Poets | Harry Neill

2 March 2021

It’s exciting to see a brand new generation of young poets honing their practice in Dumfries & Galloway. Harry Neill is an 18 year old from Carrutherstown currently living and studying in Edinburgh. He is a member of the vibrant High Street Writers group in Dumfries and has a first chapbook pending from Dreich Press. His love of writing is obvious. As he says, “I love it for many reasons, most of all for the act of writing itself rather than the final product. It’s a perfect way of channelling even the most abstract of feelings that most people find difficult to understand.”

Here he is at the seaside, reflecting on the power, mystery and purpose of the night sky, taking a leaf out of the great Iain Crichton Smith’s book, wondering who’s up there, dreaming "no dreams/as the stars kept their endless watch".

Night-time at the seaside
by Harry Neill

A lonely tide tip-toes
Up the eastern shore,
Covert beneath the darkened skies.

A vast mirror reflecting
The emptiness staring deeply into it.

Looking up, you can’t help but feel
As if there is a great eye,
Its gaze bearing down upon you.

As the waves meet your feet,
The sentient sky appears to lower.
Claustrophobia on an open plain.

That crushing abyss seems to harbour
Information beyond imagining.
You get the feeling, looking straight up

That you are on the precipice
Of everything,
That you are standing on the edge
Of total understanding.

The calming breath of the sea,
Accompanying this
Extraterrestrial intrusion.

And those little lights
Hanging low
Around the moon.

Are you watching them?


Or are they watching you?

© Harry Neill, March 2021

Big Bang's Star Poets series is curated by Hugh McMillan

Find out more about the Star Poets here