It is fine to be in balance, to hear wistful
cries like invisible veins in the winds,
and see lucky, white strands among
the heather’s Scottish highlands’ type
of sobbing, and to listen as the wind speaks
in gusts; inhaling deeply as if sucking
up a thought before breathing it out
smoothly in a musical phrase.
Our giggles are swept away instantly
as we try to stand with pale, bare,
chicken legs; goose pimples and heads
lift deliberately so that we may
be bludgeoned by the wind – our cheeks
are malleable like Playdoh as we turn
to face the brave. Lana’s spectacles
are nudged from their cosy space; nudged
all the while with nary a murmur or complaint
right up until she would trip – her straight
edged, rimmed nose would turn red
underneath freckles that are faint traces
of sunlit birds across a pale expanse
of water rippling.
We chat to silver grey, wise, stone heads
happily serenaded by loose petals and grass
quills that are a cosy squire collar for the rugged,
Celtic boulders we sit on. Our nimble fingers
grazed with youth pull dandelions from the roots
amid awkward silences – our actions solicit
a cheeky shrug because we like to hear
them tear – it is a validation of their freedom
from the tough soil as they relinquish
mystery and ghostly Celtic charm,
which is the flesh of the sturdy hillsides
that creep up to all but touch blue zircon sky.
Craggy tutus tentatively hold large birds
that, once settled, will disappear
into trances; filtering the world as it sails
by the bewitched and twisting heads
of the Little Owl sleeping while hawks
pierce our eardrums as we fight on, tumbling –
in a race to be the first to conquer this hillside.
We brazenly slide down part way; rough
and ready vanquishers of these grassy mosses
aching from its boulders – our bruises
become the glorious, purple heather down
of our flesh – an indelible tattoo of these glens
already strewn with magical, inked
Exhausted high jinks and chattering
laughter are heightened by stiffening
cold bones – windstorms activate
the grasses motivated by our tomfoolery.
Atop the hill we are puffed and exhausted,
we heave breathless for a while.
Our pigeon chests make us feel like king
and queen, but crinkled noses redefine
our stature and we settle for duke
and duchess given our ragamuffin
elbows and dirty knees, proudly assembled
I kiss my Haeddre, Duchess of Green
Flowers and the White Heather – night giver
to the moon – and I take her slender wrist
until we sit cross legged on nested fauna
and we are draped in the dying sun’s finery;
our shoulders’ shadow becomes a black cloak
glinting regal charm, and her crown is scattered
sun drops escaping the last squeeze of citrus;
they caress her head, anointing it,
just as surging, billowing clouds bid the day
farewell. Gusty breaths deepen around our hilltop
and dozing birds grip their stake with talons
on point and ready.
The common buzzard circles in the subdued
hints of autumn’s orange skies, and sounds
of the playful Little Owl sing out.
As our red hands and cold, white knuckles
sit together over our dirty knees, I feel
her pigtails shudder on her shoulders
when I catch her staring at me staring
with eyes full – made moist by the wind.
Aye, It is fine to be aware and look down
on our blustery kingdom’s fine swathe.