Posts Tagged ‘ruin’

From Broadford


      The house at Luib

It is not the same,

There on the other side

Of Beinn na Caillich,

Beside the dark loch waters,

Still and brown.

Beside the heron-guarded

Loch of Ainort.

The houses of stone


Under shadows.


It is not silent,

The house at Luib.

For how can a thing

So merged with the world

Not be full

Of the whisperings of the world,

Its sighed breathings?


Not mice, though,

Amongst the rafters,

But birdsong.

Nothing but a thatch

Of cloud

And a drift of mist


The moss-green

Tumbled walls.


No door

To open in welcome.

No scent of peat nor brose.

No fire at all,

Except the spark of sunrise

And embers at evening.


A house of trees,

Whip-thin and tall:

There together birch and rowan,

Maple and willow,

Carpeting the hearth,

Scattering green and gold

(more gold than this house

Ever saw before,

And of richer worth than metal:

Bestowing the soil,

Brightening the eye

On autumn paths).


Those who called this home

Shall be long, long gone.

Not sleeping near

Listening to the oystercatcher

On the shore,

The raven

On the slopes of Scalpay.


They will be lost

Across the seas.

Deserted by kindness,

Faces washed in salt,

Eyes empty of hope,

Hollowness growing

By the long mile.


And so it is

A house of trees,

A conversation

Of saplings.

This house empty of laughter,

Empty of singing.

No longer the home of men

Nor the smell of wood-smoke.


The bright trees growing,

Their root sinews sucking

The debris of memories:

Branches conversing together,

A chattering of leaves.


The old, sweet language

Sighing away

On the wind

Over the dark waters.

A soft calling

Of the lover to bed;

A hum, a song,

A tune for working;

By the fireside:

The telling of tales –

The day’s pouring,

Silver, gasping catch

Out on the wave.


So they have all become trees.

The memories growing to stories.

Casting seeds,

Changing with the seasons.

Our thoughts,

Boughs and branches.

Our intentions,

An agitation of leaves.

Our dreams,

Rooted hidden, out of sight

But deeper,

Deeper than we would even guess

Sustaining our place

Gripping rock:

The spinning world.


We would want for nothing

In our own place of belonging.

No distant yearning,

No sad lament

(except the lament of edges).


For always the living

Wraps the dead

As the ivy the stone

As the moss and lichen cling

’til they too become sky,

A dust

On the storm winds

Of autumn.

Beinn Na Caillich, Broadford

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