Thursday, 1 April 2010

Robin Fulton

Reaching Helmsdale

If it weren't for
this red tweed jacket
I bought in Brora
I might well wonder
if we'd ever gone
north of Inverness.

We shouldn't need proof
but do, it not being
normal to crowd in
so many slow years
to three or four hours
cuffed by a sea-wind

and buffeted by
non-highland music
from the Highland Games
up on Castle Park
(now called Cowper Park
– no-one can say why).

We'd come a long way
to look at gravestones:
we could read father
was 'devoted' while
mother was 'beloved'.
Weren't both 'beloved'?

Wandering I saw
Andrew Rutherford
had four doctorates
(honorary) chipped
on his stone. And Nan
MacLeod my once fierce

maths teacher, mother's
best friend and bĂȘte noire,
had an out-of-place
middle name: Percy.
Her mother Lizzie
sat by a peat fire

trapped and arthritic.
Unmoving the stones
turn their backs on us.
Blind they look through us.
This brash easterly
from the Moray Firth

is not going to stop:
the longer it comes
to blow in my mind
the harder it will
tug at my coat-sleeves
my hair my eyelids.

Robin Fulton 1937 -

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  1. Fantastic post; I loved everything about it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Lovely poem and awesome sky!
    Looks like a frothy sea aloft.

  3. I'm stunned! The photos are simply awesome!! great, great shot!!

  4. Great pictures, really nice clouds! A great post!

  5. Awesome captures, Neil, together with lovely words! You can't beat that! Your photos are truly magnificent! Wishing you a very Happy Easter weekend!


  6. Talk about a big sky, you have captured them. Nice poem, but I'm not sure that I understand it.

  7. I love your blog header photo... so artistically done~
    Beautiful drama in the skies~
    Thank you for sharing both words and images ~

  8. Non-highland music from the Highland well observed!

    Love your clouds.

  9. The photos match the poetry perfectly - beautiful.

  10. great poem - gorgeous pics :))

  11. I love skies like these, gorgeous photos, Neil. I'm a big big fan of Robin Fulton. This poem in particular strikes a chord with me, as i've been up to, down from, and through Helmsdale many times.