Free spirit

Free spirit
roam the fringes
of our ancient land
or beyond

Free spirit
run through
the marram grass
that lines our shores

Free spirit
hug the shoreline
through the tangle
of washed up seaweed

Free spirit
dash in the waves
of the freezing Atlantic
jump out or in

Free spirit
run, walk or dance
over moor dune
or machair

Free spirit
free of convention
free from opinion
free as the wind

East wind (2)

Wreathed in white
Looming starkly
from the east
the mountains stand

The wind blows
still from the east
blowing straight
through you

Snow has not
reached here
Neither have
the drifts

The folk and animals
of Ireland and Argyll
plunged into winter
upon the spring equinox

Buried in snow
the sheep expired
the March lamb succumbed
to the March lion

Spring it was to be
But winter came instead
Three months late
here to stay

The muirburn flares
at times out of control
flames fanned
by the relentless east wind

Under the peat
the flames yet smoulder
north and south
across these isles

An anomalous spring
The seasons upside down
The east wind
in the isles of the west

Island once more

We're an island once more
Cut off by a blast from the east
The Minch is in charge
and denies us passage

We're an island once more
Angry white horses
charge in rows
at any that dare venture out

We're an island once more
the wind sings a tune
in the wires that swing
to tell all our tales

We're an island once more
no ferries today
cowering in port
while the blast lasts

Warmth will return
the sea winking
lambs gambolling
in the southerly breeze

East wind

The east wind
blows dry
fallen down
from the mainland hills

The east wind
carries like
dried husks
of fallen leaves

The east wind
cruelly cold
to the bone

The east wind
brings the sun
but no warmth
the lamb shivers

The east wind
stifles inspiration
for those westward looking
over dark machair lands

The east wind
darkens the mind
while waiting
for the west to return

Free mind

From a distance
of three score and ten
my gaze longingly
casts south

My mind
espies yours
in freedom
on the brown machair land

Where birds flock
Your thoughts
and mine

And continue
to do so

be merry
be joyful
Let the world go hang


The promise fulfilled
I gazed in your eyes
and found profound

Two pools
of green
in depth

Your kindness
and empathy
moved me
to the core

Whatever happens
when I head north
leaving the beaches
and machair behind

Friendship abides
as does the memory
of when we stepped out
on the fresh machair grass

Eala bhan mo chridhe
Fly out in the west
by the seashore
where you find peace


Major anvils
frilly edged
rearing high
into the freezing sky

The March sun
in between
swirls of snow

The lion roars
chasing the
spring lamb
amongst the snowdrops

Look when
the lion
is replaced
by the lamb

When our eyes
meet for real
And we know
the promise is fulfilled


the heather
under the
westering sun

Smoke drifts
in the anomalous
east winds

Drawing nigh
the equinox
the meeting
of day and night

Promise fulfilled
the first lamb
out on the point
where many were lost

Life replacing
darkness and ending
light and beginnings

My gaze
drifts south
in anticipation
of another promise


Slowly the day
turns purple
as the sun
sets in the west

Far in the north
we're safe
from winter's
worst effects

Cold though
the wind blows
through the empty
Sunday streets

But winter
cannot chill
the warmth
of friendship

Soon I'll gaze
into your eyes
enveloped in
comforting amity

Promise of spring

Teasing through the clouds
scudding along
on that unceasing
east wind

The sun winks
and disappears
in a cruel
deception of spring

Yellow swing
the daffodils' heads
in the freezing breeze
a mockery

The promise
remains strong
and will be fulfilled
Winter will flee

Chased by
gambolling lambs
a burst of colour
a breeze from the south

On a song
in an alto voice
singing a siren call
an irresistible lure


Although March is now here
spring is not yet
It pulls us a long nose
whilst we freeze in the wind

The days are longer now
The bulbs bloom afresh
Do I hear the plaintive
bleating of the lamb?

But March's now a lion
mocking us
as winter winds
blow in from the east

Snow could yet fall
Hard frosts at night
Tis no weather for outside
Yet outside we must

But warmth is not far off
whether from the fire
or the glow of your friendship
from down the isles

The Minch

Straight from the east
ruffling the sea
the wind blows
blows across the Minch

Keeping warm
by the open fire
shutting out the wind which
blows across the Minch

Hidden behind clouds
the warmth of the sun
appears to disappear
across the Minch

Hovering on currents
of unseen air
the crows dance
on the edge of the Minch

The lambs now appear
is spring now here
Not for a while
this side of the Minch

To south, your voice
dances golden
looking away
from the cold grey Minch


in the pale
early March

An approach
oh my word
not so sure
drawing back

An approach
want more...
drawing back

An approach
where's the bucket
is this right?
drawing back

An approach
is this good
well maybe
drawing back

in the pale
early March


From the top of the hill
glancing into the bright
spring sunshine
I espied

From the fair shore
with the waves lapping
and the birds calling
I espied

From my boat
with the waves heaving
under the keel
I espied

Reaching the port
the harbour of safety
Offering shelter
from the raging storm

For you
until the clouds
roll away
and the sun reappears

Spring is coming

The sun has gained in strength
spring is now near
days are nearly equal
in length to nights now

From afar
your voice echoes
over the mountains
moors and seas

Which separate us
for now
One day I'll cross
and our eyes will meet

And the sun
will blaze in unrivalled
to light up your life

My errand

An errand I may run
One out in the hills
On the gentle slopes
at the brown summit cairn

Soft underfoot
my feet take me down
the incline
along the contour

I carry a treasure
a singular one
as I approach
the valley

Thick undergrowth
seeming to slow
my progress

but between
the hills I continue
as the growth thickens

A cave now appears
where the river
of life
springs eternal

It is my errand
to go forth
and into the cave
to the furthest I can go

To replenish
the river of life
The sun now shines bright
For my errand's complete

The promise

Calmly the clouds
open and close
A breeze
bends the reeds

The sun paints
patches of
moving colour
shifting east

From afar
I hear your voice
Not a siren call
but a promise

A promise borne patiently
by the wise old ewe
through winter until
she has her lamb at foot

A promise borne patiently
by me
until I behold you
and the dream comes true