Written the evening before a John Muir Trust meeting on Skye a long time ago.
On Beinn na Cro
Eight o’clock of an April evening,
A good time to be on the hill,
A ptarmigan croaking on Beinn na Cro.
Delightful the cool wind on its grass ridge,
An east wind with promise for tomorrow.
After the long climb, easy the stride downhill,
Among the grass and heather and the million boulders.
A luminous grey shadow,
The pure mountain shapes of Rum sail the waters.
White specks of houses dot the lime-rich green
Of the township fields, rich in summer with orchids.
Rich green too the deer’s couch in the heather at my feet,
while the meadow pipit watches from a boulder.
Delightful too to follow the burn between the ridges -
A rowan hangs over it, an open tangle of branches,
A tighter tangle within it, a nest lined with moss -
Down to the sea where the oystercatchers call,
Waiting on the grass, the tide full in to the shore.
A good time to be on the hill;
Still better to have stayed, to have slept in the deer’s bed.
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