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Extracts From:
Around Scotland
by Motorcaravan

A Poem by:

Anthony Bavin

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

(This verse - if, indeed, verse it is - is to me so loose that it could almost be accused of being wanton. It was my sketch book, during the two weeks that we were away in Scotland - instant impressions: and whilst my intention was to tighten it up once we got back, frankly, the holiday was so relaxed that I have decided not to tinker with it too much.)



... And, not long before eleven, the blood red

Sun dropped into a fading blue Atlantic,

Behind the peaks of Skye and Rhum and Eigg,

What sight!

Oh! You mysterious islands with evocative titles,

Tell us your secrets, show us your rituals,

Pull us close to you,

Take us in nuptials:

You fade in the twilight,

Teasing our senses,

Just over the water,

And after the sun set,

Came his favourite daughter,

The moon!

The moon came out,

And drew a silver line across the sea,

A line dividing myth and fantasy,

From boring dull reality.




... And the church at Croick,

At the end of this lonely road, stands

A memorial to these great injustices:

Here, crofters huddled up against

The south-west transept, for a little shelter,

And the imprint of their names,

Graffiti, scratched by desperate hands,

On the church's plain glass window,

Remind us they were here:

Killroy was here!

And over-awed, standing on the track

That leads between the lichened graves,

We count our blessings:

By the grace of God, we will return,

But Killroy, Kinsale and Donald Ross,

Are never coming back.




Perfidious McCloud!

Montrose will surely come again,

Sit down beside you at your board,

And, forever, haunt you:

Even now above your castle's ruins,

We hear the rattle of his chains,

His ghost coming back to taunt you,

Montrose! That neck-racked ghost,

Which shows amidst the winds and rains,

That storm across Assynt:

You offered out a hand to him,

And called it hospitality,

Disguised it in a bloody cloak,

Of the very vilest treachery,

Gave him to the Royalists,

To Edinburgh and the block:

Tonight we see the blood stains spread

Across his doublet and his stock,

And we, with uneasy jests draw down the blinds,

Pull close the door, lock tight,

Against the storm, the ghostly strains,

The tortured shrieks we seem to hear,

The disembowelled smell of fear,

Exuding from your nearby dungeons,

Issuing from your crumbling towers,

This wicked, storm-tossed, night. ...


Anthony Bavin
Copyright © 2000

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