Category: light words

The waters of the loch are cold, a steely grey. Clouds drift above the water. The clouds shift in colour, the edges tinged with the first hints of sunrise, as the morning starts to break behind the hill. The moment fills with hints of goldlight, edge of sunlight, the heart is full for just one moment with nothing but the rising of the morning.

Watching through the living room window, the headlights of my neighbour’s car creep slowly down the hill.

There are goldfinches at the feeder, the first time since we’ve been here. The birds are rotating, as if in a dance: greenfinches, goldfinches, a thrush, then again, the greenfinches then the goldfinches, and their colour takes my breath away, they fill my heart with wonder, and I can’t stop watching them, how everything in a moment can be so much lighter.

The machair at Northton is suddenly full of lapwings, scores of them, the land is dotted with them, the sky is singing with them, forty or fifty rising up at once in front of us, spilling flashes of black and brilliant white in their acrobatics, till the heart is bursting full with it, spilling song, spilling poems, spilling light.

The sky is twilight blue the whole way home, and the lochans by the roadside as the road bends and curves are the palest twilight blue, like the flashes of a torch, like the thumping of a heart.

Saturday morning, sunlit snow. A snow path by the harbour. Sunlight glinting on snow. The sun is strong and the air delicious. The starlings are shouting with the love of it, their squawks like a serenade. I wish I could lie down on the snow path and take photo after photo of the way the light falls. It feels like Christmas morning, like New Year’s morning, like the first morning.

low on the water, a sea bird curves and turns
shore lapping the sound of
deeper water dark bobbing with black
low flight and cry
as it circles and lands
sheen of metallic blue
breathing
the underwings of a gull
all blue – the forth and sky –
cold light rolling
patterns of light on the water
a curlew cries
oystercatchers in a line
sky and river horizon
low the flick of wings
not touching the water

red fishing boat
ripples
snow on the Cuillin

No tea room, but the hum of conversation of men in the back, their jackets luminous, waiting on the ferry. A line of gulls on the harbour wall, and one high above, circling. An engine hums. Diesel drifts across the stillness, a chain turning as the crane lifts and lowers, the trundle of a coach down the hill.

A fishing boat chugs into harbour, rippling.

Across the water, the ferry starts its return, snow still on the peaks, and the distant keening of gulls.

Mallaig, May 2014

sunlight on water
the slow turn
of a lotus flower

Even in the hills, the pure stickiness of this afternoon: a trickle of sweat, so many clouds of flies, the pool at the centre of the garden the splashing of a blackbird.

Samye Ling, August 2013

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