A collection of tales told by the women and girls around you.
As the car snakes its way through
the deep glen, you gasp at every turn.
Flaming, blazing gorse valleys hide
fragmented, tumbledown castles and
imagining ourselves enthroned here,
Lairds of this fierce landscape.
Globe-sized droplets beat a mellow
rhythm on the car-roof but we refuse to groan
at this country’s mizzle, a dreich
day can’t change our holiday mood.
The backseat brings with it a dozy stupor,
but whoever is napping is resurrected
as we insist on singing ourselves around
the Highlands. And, as the car glides forward
through the smirr o’ rain
we stop -
wherever we want.
Footloose and free-spirited
we tumble out of the car
all anorak and snack -
the stuff of our childhood -
the milky warmth of Cadbury,
the salty sting of Walkers
fuelling us underneath the vast,
crashing skies of the West Coast.
We heave up hills where the air is laced with Atlantic brine,
we sit atop living peaks,
we gaze into crystalline water,
we prod jellyfish and feast on haddock,
we marvel at the dappled shades of the turning season,
at the angry majesty of this wild place.
And, we allow the wind to topple us as we traverse through
tawny, sand-streaked grass to beaches with dragon-egg
pebbles; pink and orange and pearl.
The sand swirls shell-like beneath our feet,
it is untouched, unstepped, and you say -
we are the only ones here,
A response to the israel-Palestine Conflict
As soon as the bump arrived -
It was over.
I was no longer mine.
I was yours.
Nestled deep within
You grew; a tangled, kicking
And then one day, unannounced,
You burst out, bored
Of your quiet, rhythmic, oceanic world;
A sprawling, screaming nymph-out-of-water,
And I was no longer mine.
I was yours.
It hit in harsh blows
I didn’t tell you to go
It was said like I had no choice in the matter
You were gone and it was done
Your life shaped by my tender words, my –
But you defied them all, from no choice of your own