Mod nan Eilean

The last chord drifts away
from the old school hall
soon all will go their
separate ways

Celebrations over
for achievements
and first place

The old language,
older than what I write in,
echoes from the halls
native or learnt

The sun shone down
as the ferries sailed
carrying the festival

The language remains
between sea and ocean
the culture continues
from lighthouse to lighthouse

I see the land
I see the winter
the last tourists have gone
from the isles of the west.

Lews Castle

Where the wealthy once played
in luscious ballrooms
dividing the interior
to shoot and fish

Where their chattels,
enumerated for poverty,
had less than nothing
to live on and pay with

Lowly walls sinking into the ground
only chimneys left standing
empty hearths cold
staring out over empty moorland

The mansion too was left
abandoned and crumbling
young ones were once taught
from where their elders were ruled

Where the wealthy once played
we now learn of their days
and those they subdued
from near and from far

Resplendent yet empty
the way it once was,
but no longer is,
Lews Castle

October summer

Shadows lengthen
with the equinox past
blue sky arcs
under the sinking sun

The eighth month
for the ancients of Rome
our tenth
and first full of autumn

Green's turning
yellow if not brown
fluttering down
the wizened leaves fall

South wind the wings
of those impelled to move
as winter beckson
in a chilly morn

Orion marches
up the pre-dawn sky
his faithful hounds
at heel to his east

The southeast breeze
yet brings some late warmth
before the clouds
drift back

Autumn's gentle face
we have on show this week
Its wild battles for winter
are yet to come