r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: September 2009


Writing at my desk,
I look out across the sea—
words slip their moorings

Caroline Gourlay, from Global Haiku Anthology 53

going home

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

John Muir

Aig Tursachan Chalanais / At Callanish Stones

Cha robh toiseach no deireadh air a’ chearcall,
cha robh iochdar no uachdar aig ar smuain,
bha an cruinne-cè balbh a’ feitheamh,
gun muir a’ sliobadh ri tràigh,
gun feur a’ gluasad ri gaoith,
cha robh là ann no oidhche –
is gu siorraidh cha chaill mi cuimhneair
do chuailean bàn ’s do bheul meachair,
no air an aon-dùrachd a shnaoidh sinn
ri chèile an cearcall na tìme,
far nach suath foill ann an tràigh dòchais.

Ruaraidh MacThòmais

At Callanish Stones

The circle had neither end nor beginning,

our thought had neither start nor finish,
the still universe was waiting,
sea not stroking the land,
grass not moving in wind,
there was no day, no night –
and I shall never forget
your fair hair and tender lips,
or the shared desire that wove us
together in time’s circle
where treachery will not touch hope’s shore.

Derick Thomson

a diver's song

Something is in there, out there, down there, flails and dwells

In inner silence. He wants to meet
It, to come back dry, dripping, and greet

The day from the loch's beyond, its call
Calling inside him. Wants above all

To sound the loch's full volume right at ground
Level, be lost in it, pushed by it, sung by it, not to be found.

Robert Crawford, from Full Volume

Canedolia - an off-concrete Scotch fantasia

oa! hoy! awe! ba! mey!
who saw?
rhu saw rum. garve saw smoo. nigg saw tain. lairg saw lagg. rigg saw eigg. largs saw haggs. tongue saw luss. mull saw yell. stoer saw strone. drem saw muck. gask saw noss. unst saw cults. echt saw banff. weem saw wick. trool saw twatt.
how far?
from largo to lunga from joppa to skibo from ratho to shona from ulva to minto from tinto to tolsta from soutra to marsco from braco to barra from alva to stobo from fogo to fada from gigha to gogo from kelso to stroma from hirta to spango.
what is it like there?
och it’s freuchie, it’s faifley, it’s wamphray, it’s frandy, it’s sliddery.
what do you do?
we foindle and fungle, we bonkle and meigle and maxpoffle. we scotstarvit, armit, wormit, and even whifflet. we play at crosstobs leuchars, gorbals, and finfan. we scavaig, and there’s aye a bit of tilquhilly. if it’s wet, treshnish and mishnish.
what is the best of the country?
blinkbonny! airgold! thundergay!
and the worst?
scrishven, shiskine, scrabster, and snizort.
listen! what’s that?
catacol and wauchope, never heed them.

tell us about last night?
well, we had a wee ferintosh and we lay on the quiraing. it was pure strontian!
but who was there?
petermoidart and craigenkenneth and cambusputtock and ecclemuchty and corriehulish and balladolly and altnacanny and clauchanvrechan and stronachlochan and auchenlacher and tighnacrankie and tilliebruaich and killiehara and invervannach and achnatudlem and machrishellach and inchtamurchan and auchterfechan and kinlochculter and ardnawhallie and
and what was the toast?
schiehallion! schiehallion! schiehallion!

Edwin Morgan


Nothing in sight but water's deferrals,
deflections, its million-galloned grief;
though sometimes, when the light is angled so
as to prism inside the waves' tips,
it seems we're actually anchored in fields:
that we could drop off and land on our feet
in a rich plough-land confected with frost,
in mud flats, or sand dunes. We could forget
dry land is a dream in the dream of it

Frances Leviston

To My Mountain

Since I must love your north
of darkness, cold, and pain,

the snow, the lovely glen,
let me love true worth,

the strength of the hard rock,
the deafening stream of wind
that carries sense away
swifter than flowing blood.

Heather is harsh to tears
and the rough moors
give the buried face no peace
but make me rise,

and oh, the sweet scent, and purple skies!

Kathleen Raine