r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: March 2011

Two into one

Flodigarry, a watercolour by Sheelagh Petrie

The thin sea breeze met a fat one coming
Down from a corrie. What a confusion
Of ideas and smells - mountain thyme
Growing in sea splashes and mackerel flirting
Round knolls of heather. It took no patience -

Girl who wasn't there - to invent true parallels
With you and me: my bladdery seawrack
And your moss campion: my watery slither
And your roe-deer delicate pacing: my yells
Blackbacking on barnacles - and you on a hillock

Golden plovering, sweetly sandpiping.
What a croft we'd be, with our own visitations!
It would swing like a bell, between sounds and shapes -
Its complete round voice would spread away, fading
Over holiday sabbaths of hills and oceans.

Norman MacCaig, from The World's Room


This shattered place, this place of fragments,
A play of wind and sea and light,
Shifting always, becoming and diminishing;
Out of nowhere the full brightness of morning,
Blown away, buried and lost.

And yet, if you have faith, if you wait long enough,
There will be the miracle of an otter
Turning water into somersaults;
The jet blackness of a loch brought back to life
By the sudden touch of sun.

But you will take nothing home with you
Save your own changedness,
And this wind that will waken you
Sometimes, all your life, yearning to return.

Kenneth Steven, from Island Collected Poems