~ here are a few poems I have written ~


The Quiet Ones


It is that time of year again,

When the deer steal silently down from the mountain,

The frosts descending to the foot of the glen,

Earth hard like iron under a starry sky.


In summer they run so wild on the heights,

Their dun flanks merging with the slopes of the hill,

Gracious company of fleet-footed ones,

Lovely as the sun-streaked heather on a day of showers,

Pretty as the speckled trout in the shining stream.


But tonight I see them across the darkening acres,

Hushed in the woods, their eyes gleaming

In the headlights of an approaching car

That sweeps past and is gone

In the consuming darkness and still evening.


Here in the deep winter,

They come foraging,

They wait for the distant spring to return once more,

They are quiet as a moonlit night.


* * * * * *


Summer Meadow


In the lost country of our abandoned childhood

There were no worried parents to watch over us,

No rights of way to tell us where to go,

But adventure beckoned and the long day of delight.

We would troop off to the summer meadow

Over the ancient wooden style

And down across the grasses

The sunlight glistening

And all our life a prospect.

As my friends pressed on toward the stream,

Their voices floating dreamily away,

I would lie back and gaze up at the sky

Through the undergrowth of green,

And watch the scudding softness of the clouds

Passing, passing, passing through blue heaven

Heaven of the childhood summer afternoon,

That drifting now, that timeless never ending,

Then stir and wander on alone

The whole field flecked with pretty flowers

Bright shining buttercups and white loveliness

Of little daisies, open and so radiant,

Reflecting the radiance, reflecting prettiness

Of my own childhood, my own open mind,

Before the wind turned cool across my face

Clouds bringing shadows, and first

Drops of rain at dusk.


* * * * * *


Highland Beauty


Highland beauty, dark one, mo nighean,

All day we have laughed and known the close

Encounter of attraction and flagrant desire,

And I have longed to press against you

Hold and enfold you, give myself to your ardour

All nature whole and beautiful within you,

Your breasts like paps - like the distant paps of Jura -

Far off beyond the waters, beyond the cold waters,

Remote and out of reach, untouchable.

How I would long to sail across those narrows

And steal up the silent glen at dusk

Between the dark flanks of the shadowy mountains

And know you, meet you, in the darkening wilds,

Fighting and clashing in the summer evening,

Reclusive, lovely and given to one another,

On the damp cool earth under glimmering stars.

Or play with you all afternoon once more

Laugh at your laughter, smile at your smiles

And let you splash me in the stream again,

Your kisses like wild strawberries,

Our bodies pressed together on the hillside

As you rise above me in the gleaming sunlight,

Forcing me down, face down, in the tangled heather

Leaving the stain of bilberries smeared across my lips.


* * * * * *

'And the river flowing...'


The day had dawned grey and overcast,

Autumnal showers in the unfrequented corries

And silent shroud over still Glen Etive.

Skirting the lonely sheep-folds, and ruins of bygone days,

I hopped across the lichen-crusted quartz

And quiet waters by some turquoise pools -

A peace within my heart

And the river flowing.


Climbing the ridge, toward the darkening clouds

That loomed and lurked on old Ben Starav,

I saw an eagle, drift and loiter,

Before turning a buttress and soaring out of sight.

While far below me in the sullen glen

I could see the boulder-fretted rapids

Thread in a distant silence down the valley

And the river flowing.


On the summit plateau, alone and quite apart,

I negotiated the rock-strewn desolation -

A scattering of early snow and keening gusts of wind

Told me the day was on the turn, the seasons also,

The year end beckoning, drawing dark days in -

And felt my own life on the move as well,

Its drawing in toward the winter night

Like a river flowing.


At end of day, long after light had failed

And the early evening stars were pricking out

In the clearing darkness of a far-flung sky,

I tracked the shadowed bends of the River Ba

Along all those low meandering miles, with the sad and distant moon

Reflecting on its dark and silent surface,

Felt that still silence of the deep heart's ceaseless flood

And the river always flowing.


* * * * * *


Deep Winter Night in the Hills


The stars shower down on the Highland night

The Crab nebula recoils

Out through the winter

Distance is not the furthest frozen star

It is not that receding turmoil of desolate worlds.


Those pretty mountains smile cockily

To breezy summer tourists

The flight between the seasons is not far

Now in the clamorous winter I retire

Where rock and winds contend without respite.


This lonely bothy stilled by mountain night

Does not seem far from home's familiar stares

That warmth the same I must revile

At death of dwindling flame

In silence hanging like breath chill on the air.


Sitting with you in silence, true love,

Distance is just across the candle flame

Trying to draw an uncertain smile

Sure as the boundless wind or flickering face of shade,

We still and remote under the cold inconstant heavens.


* * * * * *


Skye in June


The sound from the pipes lapped away

And the girls on the beach danced on to day

The diluted dark of the northerly night

The pale darkness washing away,

Skye in June, cloudy moon

Days of passion and delight.


The wind in the corries called us apart

MacGregor and I

The Cuillin talked to the thoughtful heart

Of the fresh dawn of day,

And a soft mist hung over Skye

On the sea sway.


A wandering sea-gull yesterday

Bore me up on the wing, come away come away,

And gazing over the summer seas

Heard the beckoning song of the Hebrides

Legends begun before Ossian's time

Echoed in waves and the setting sun.


The longboat breaks the flying spray

It is dark and cool

I lie on the rocks and wait for your words

At a dropping pool,

By the bracken fire in the dwindling light

You soothe me away and into the night.


Far out to sea in the morning air

Life danced on the ocean so boundless and wide,

In cold salted breezes dispersing them there

Scarcely noticed soft memories retreat with the tide

Chilly spray, lonely wilds ~

You're Lord of the Isles.




Some favourite poems by other people