Thursday, September 18, 2008


The treacherous snow swept
into the Glen of Poets,
came in trust to rest
upon their unsuspecting thatch.

Can snow cut?
When snow dons the King’s red coat,
it can.
When Campbells emerge
out of a merciless dawn,
it can.
Your eyes cling to the unkind cliffs
and you know..
it can.

Air should be crisp, but
this air hangs like a dead hand.
All doors are tightly shut,
which once were open to all.
Windows stare back sightless.
Lights have been expelled.
The mountainsides, which echoed with voices,
are filled with the moaning of many winds.
Air should heal
but this air scars.

I have not been to Glencoe for a few years, but even just driving through I am always struck by the atmosphere of the place, even on a bright sunny day. In how many places like this, all over the globe, have the 'King's men' left their mark? The painting is by John Blake McDonald c1879, held by the Royal Scottish Academy.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to leave a comment before but fell foul of lost passwords. How much worse is the betrayal when your fellow man is invited into your home as a guest; then breaks age old traditions that bind communities, helping the harsh life they all experienced.