Northwords Now

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by Ian Olson

When you took the autumn to London
And left me to burrow into winter
I said they could pack up Strathconon
Box up the birch and the larch
Return the swans on Achonachie
And while they were about it
They could empty the Curin dam.

There was, after all, no point
In the upkeep of Torr Achilty
In preserving the pines of Achlorachan
And sustaining the pass of Scardroy.
No need to retain Inverchoran
For the sake of a handful of eagles
Or maintain the forest of Meinich
For the amusement of the deer.

Last night when I entered Strathconon
The birches were naked and mourning
The larch trees stripped and shivering
The pines smothered in sleet.
By Dalbreac the river was silenced
From Craig Ruadh the deer were uplifted
The dams preserved in the ice
The mountains blacked out by the snow.

The Board and Editor of Northwords Now acknowledge support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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