Men in plaid, skirted
and flirting with machismo
where’er they go they blow.
The sound sweet as chocolate
filling the air; making the hair
on my arms to stand and salute.
The intonation is a sensation
that any Scot would devour.
It is our theme, the soundtrack
that brings us back to the sod.
My God, it fills the air with flair,
whene’er the cauld pipe reels play there.
In the reel of the pipes
there lives a muse both mythical
and magical. Scots a’fore me,
most celebrated for their wile,
bring mirth to a worn and tired soul.
Any toll life may have visited upon you,
dissipates in the loving tones of kith and kin.
And within the notes played soulfully,
a transformation occurs. Within the heart it stirs
and love is aroused in the pitch and timber.
A prestidigitation in sound, musical and magical.
I’ve returned from more extensive travel to wrap myself in the comfort of a homespun holiday celebration. Happy Christmas to all.
Silence in wonderment;
beauty of reflection
in glinting sparkles
of light and dark.
Slack-jawed with no words
forthcoming. Just the drumming
of the reptilian life
and the cricket’s chirp.
Night inspires, but I am
not enticed. I contribute
to nature’s hush. In the rushes
my muse remains mindless,
I guess I can accept this
without words to obstruct.
A made-up melody,
random notes from the back
of his throat. Uncle
didn’t bother with words
when the beauty of a song
lived in his heart. Many nights
on the lough we waited
with baited hooks and star-filled
skies. Angus closed his eyes
and his lips to begin
this hot air symphony all his own.
Old folk songs taught by his
GrandDa keeping the fish at bay,
and drawing me closer to the ancients;
descendents and ancestors alike.
Songs that dance in the shadows of my memory.
My times with Angus were laced with love.
Windblown and grown throughout the valley,
the sharp burrs wave in rhythmic rolls.
In the quiet evening the rush is heard;
soft as a whisper, sharp as a whistle.
If you listen you can hear its calling,
enthralling and even. In the bushes and stalks
it talks to the shadows of my Scots ancestors
long interred; the rush is heard throughout the dale,
in the thistle’s tale its whistle wails.
Come to my home; make a spot for yourself.
Musician and artisan you be.
Fill my hearth with gaelic trills,
and songs of sweet harmony.
Friend and neighbour gather round,
tonight we will dance and reel.
Shamus returns from a day on the ridge,
crost the bridge of trunk and steel.
Come to my home and make it your own,
musician and artisan, come.
There’s a fire in the hearth, do come warm your heart.
Your music has found its way home!
Hands joined as we trek
across the lea to our quiet place.
Her face rings of porcelain, possessing
a heart made of same. Its beat
is strong and rapid, as mine
responds in kind; breathing heated
and shallow, hands trembling, but sure.
It is a fine Aberdeen eve,
with Emmaline as companion.
From the marsh the sound
of a reptilian rendezvous
punctuates the star filled night.
Dare I stop to steal a kiss,
from the fairness of one who owns
every loving thought of mine?
Dare I do, a kiss, then two;
love’s treasure sating my longing soul.
Rapt in the embrace of emerging emotions,
Emmaline replies not. Her only music
is a pulsing heart and her sensuous sigh.
She and I, nigh in the night.
Across the Highlands,
throughout the Uplands,
their cadence can be heard.
Boots click and stomp, amidst
drumbeat tympani in harmony.
Precision, a decision to align
to the refinement of the unit.
Thump, thump, snap and stomp.
Mallets twirl above the rotund
bass drum. Step, hault, step hault.
March to the beat, feet loud and strong.
placid and serene,
a reflecting pool
of my magnificent Scotland.
Heritage and tradition,
a proud and noble condition.
I stand upon the shore,
a sentinel to the wonder
of the sweeping skies I am under.
The sun begins its ascent
and my contentment nears completion.
Bellows drive my incantation,
a gentile melody to bless this new morning.
And suddenly, these pipes are distracted,
an act of heresy to this heart. A wail
of unknown origin from the water’s edge,
The loud splash of a trident tail submerging.
Myth and legend appears alive and well.
‘Tis swell a day to be alive and well.