r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: February 2010

Loch Music

I listen as recorded Bach
Restates the rhythms of a loch.
Through blends of dusks and dragonflies
A music settles on my eyes
Until i hear the living moors,
Sunk stones and shadowed conifers,
And what i hear is what I see,
A summer night's divinity.
And I am not administered
Tonight, but feel my life transferred
Beyond the realm of where I am
Into a personal extreme,
As on my wrist, my eager pulse
Counts out the blood of someone else.
Mist-moving trees proclaim a sense
Of sight without intelligence;
The intellects of water teach
A truth that's physical and rich.
I nourish nothing with the stars,
With minerals, as I disperse,
A scattering of quavered wash
As light against the wind as ash.

Douglas Dunn

No choice

I think about you
in as many ways as rain comes.

(I am growing, as I get older,
to hate metaphors - their exactness
and their inadequacy.)

Sometimes these thoughts are
a moistness, hardly falling, than which
nothing is more gentle:
sometimes, a rattling shower, a
bustling Spring-cleaning of the mind:
sometimes, a drowning downpour.

I am growing, as I get older,
to hate metaphor,
to love gentleness,
to fear downpours.

Norman MacCaig


The boat need carry no more than a live man
And there's a meaning, a cargo of centuries.
They make a hieroglyph on the sea that can
Cramp circumnavigations in one round gaze.

Hard sailors put out from books and ancient tales.
They have names that chink like gold or clash like ice.
They shred coarse fog or beat suns with their sails,
Pooled in iambics or tossed on hexameters.

Days jagged on skerries, nights signalling with foam
Were golden fleece, white whale, lost Ithaca.
No answering star could call these wanderers home.
Each cape they doubled jutted from history.

Watch this one, ancient Calum. He crabs his boat
Sideways across the tide, every stroke a groan -
Ancient Calum no more, but legends afloat.
No boat ever sailed wth a crew of one alone.

Norman MacCaig