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Here's a poem about two very different but inextricable subjects.


I'm sure it's raining on Blabheinn,
that's there's harsh smirr in Hallistra,
low cloud hanging wet & heavy 
like kelp over Greshornish
& that the hardy women of Roag
are bowing happed heads
against winter already.

In Dumfries, where there are
500 indigenous English
language words for dreich,
I dream of the turquoise bay,
the sun-cupped ranges idling
feckless memories of me away,
small boats kissed by waves 
like tame seals, a red roof at Geary,
flashes of languid semaphore
from otherwise empty
caves of window in at Ardmore.

And the pointed tops of Trotternish
shrugging up behind the Yes 
signs on the Staffin road, this island
baring its teeth, showing its happy fangs
at last in more than hope & tattered
flags of storybook beliefs, the fraying
cairns of Braes & Glendale made anew
& on the march to somewhere free
of glorious defeat, of mists, of pasts.

That's what you get for looking in books
& daring to remember the odd
time a world of fiction happened
itself into fact. I wade through freezing
waves of day, slip over endless
greasy kerbs of bladder wrack,
make safe harbour in a bar neuk, 
anchor myself with baccy, bills, 
lost in the as-yet unwritten book.

◄ Life & Death in a Northern Climate


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Stuart A Paterson

Mon 9th Nov 2015 13:52

Thanks Stu, glad you enjoyed it. First time I've written about Skye despite umpteen visits. When I took that photo at that time, near Staffin, it hit a note, especially thinking of the land risings at Braes & Glendale in the late 19th century.

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Stu Buck

Mon 9th Nov 2015 10:37

this projects brilliantly both the dreams one has and the harsh realities. well written and enjoyable.

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