a writer of sorts
An unexpected crunching woke me.
Footsteps on gravel; a faint gruffling
as something brushed against
the chalet door; a light clack
-and-scrape against the mullions.
Contented grunts sounding as the hart
reached across an asphalt scar,
to steal a mossy treat from beneath
the step. Indifferent to our presence,
prickets came to dine.
The jetty, dew frozen onto its surface,
dipped its feet, reflecting
around the still quivering water’s
edge. The air so cold, so tight
a well-placed pin could prick it;
the atmosphere into shards
of brittle oxygen. The lake
had frozen – beneath the papercut
moon – so quickly a wavelet
could still be seen, threatening
to break, but caught;
apprehended by weather.
A single-track road, flanked
by quartzite whorls; muricate
gorse and pervious moss
winds through The Lonely Lands.
A serpentine polecat flashes its ermine
underbelly as it runs to safety.
Aquiline danger, silhouetted against
whetted blue skies, loses its prey.
We arrived to silence and ate
breakfast at a waterside café,
watching the loch breathing
through condensation a
that shimmered on painted
silicate. The streets filled
with well-dressed and solemn
people – drawn towards
the harbour where Klondykes
– long gone – have returned
the harbour to hushed sound.
The crowd grew, blocking
the roads and the front.
To the west, the focus.
A cenotaph. A solemn finger,
pointing to the heavens.
Ullapool exhales and a military
band punctuates the susurrant
silence with morse precision.
The harshness of the pipes filtered
by numbed air; softened by frozen
breath. The dulcet brume
-filtered drone whispers
its lament over black, rigored
waters. The mountains
by the loch providing
I glanced to the Brigadoon hills. Mist
slow-raced to the loch – urgent
but languid – before being absorbed
into its waters. The reconnection
of mist and loch, a reunion
of mother and child.
In the mists of life…