Saturday 7 April 2012


A breathless trek across the Sutherland moors,
Just you and I and the great outdoors.
Cold mist clung to those forbidding hills
as you taught me survival skills.

I began to crave this wild Wilde side of life,
and came to depend on a stranger close by my side.
A suggestion of something I read in your eyes
prompted a dread of eventual goodbyes.

Just then I stumbled over rocky land.
You reached out, caught me by the hand.
An electric current shot through me,
but what I wanted must never be.

Fog turned to rain then torrential downpour.
Desperate for shelter we scoured sodden moor.
Sole structure for miles was a shepherd's hut
derelict for well over two centuries, but

I hesitated. It was inviting I know,
as the rain no sign of let-up had begun to show.
Yet if we entered, instinctively I knew
it would destroy more lives than just these two.

But the moral battle was easily won
by our pheromones' prophecy of what was to come.
Alibis for absence I'd fabricate tomorrow,
And I tried not to dwell on eventual sorrow.

So bedraggled and freezing, we huddled together
on earthen floor with it's carpet of heather.
Then you built a fire in a crumbling corner.
It was soon ablaze - oh such bliss to feel warmer.

As I laughed at your stories, in the ember's soft glow,
I felt a fierce hunger between us grow.
We gazed into the depths of each others eyes.
Soon those ancient walls echoed rapturous cries.

For ecstasy began with the touch of your fingers,
and even today the memory still lingers
of wet clothes strewn all over the floor
as two became one against lichen-clad door.


  1. I could actually see myself there watching this act taking place, well done. Thank you for your comment on my Fair Dinkum Haiku recently you were very close but i'm of Welsh ancestry my parents came to Australia after the second world war :-).

    1. Thank you Windsmoke.
      So, I was close then - you are of Celtic ancestry!
      I thought I perceived that in your writing :)

  2. Hi Ygraine, I have never experienced first hand the geography of that part of the world but your poem captures I think a perennial mood of the place so well. Your words conjure the place and the spirit of the moors as I could only imagine in my wildest dreams. The ancient echoes of the place resound in my imagination through your lyrical verse. What a beautiful, lovely , inspiring and romantic poem. Your rhythm and words have kept the spirit of place alive for me even though I have never visited...thanks for sharing.

  3. BTW, I know it is a metaphor for unforgiving desires and the power of suggestive passion but the moors must have that sway...

    1. William, how can I ever thank you enough?!
      You have paid me such a compliment here.
      This area of the extreme north west of Scotland does have a unique feel to it. There are no roads, no communications and only very rarely another human soul to be found.
      I have only ever visited once, and as you can see, it has left a lasting impression on me.
      Maybe someday I'll make it there again...

  4. This life or past life? Either case you've rendered the moral battle in a fine shell of a tale.

    "lichen-clad door" - musical!

    1. Hi Gnome,
      Dream life (one of my more vivid ones) that was crying out to be recorded.
      Maybe if I ponder it long enough I'll eventually work out it's meaning!

  5. I enjoyed this from start to finish - and especially the finish. The last stanza a fitting way to bow out.

    1. Thank you so much Dave.
      I really enjoyed writing this, mainly because it revived memories of my visit to Sandwood Bay back in 1993.
      It is by far the most remote and isolated place I have ever been, so I'm not at all surprised it has reappeared in my dreams. It isn't the kind of place you easily forget!

  6. Ygraine, I have enjoyed your romantic description of adultery a lot, in a magical landscape and wonderful rhythmical way, step by step, the climax softly increasing:
    A suggestion of something I read in your eyes
    ...caught me by the hand.
    An electric current shot through me, two became one against lichen-clad door.
    I felt a fierce hunger between us grow.
    We gazed into the depths of each others eyes.
    For ecstasy began with the touch of your fingers,
    ... two became one against lichen-clad door.

    Your feelings: Hesitation, the moral battle, lives destroyed, alibis. You knew it was inevitable and so it happened.

    1. Hi Dulcina,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it.
      The setting for this poem has haunted me ever since I visited it all those years ago. Then I had this really vivid dream, and simply HAD to write about it.
      In fact, it was so clear that it felt more like a memory. Who knows, maybe I've accessed a past life.
      Wouldn't like to find myself in that position in this life though! :)

  7. Bravo Ygraine! What a masterpiece of romance and intrigue! Fabulous dear lady:D

    1. Rose, thank you so very much!
      It is one of those rare places that, by its very mysterious and isolated nature, conjures up images of illicit affairs and emotional intrigue.
      I was almost inspired to attempt a novel while I was there...:)

  8. This was beautiful, I really felt like I was there.

    Favourite line: "A suggestion of something I read in your eyes"

    1. Hi Icyhighs,
      Many, many thanks.
      I truly appreciate that :)

  9. Replies
    1. Hi Mel,
      Really great to hear from you again.
      Yes, wonderously magical indeed!
      I imagine you have many remote and isolated places like this in rural Ireland.
      How I envy you!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.
I really appreciate hearing your opinions...:)