Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 399

An Teallach
(by Dundonnel, summer ‘95)

Heat curled white cloudy fingers around my legs
and we vanished, the dog and I.

Her nose found the path, we rose up
the long slope to shelves
like giants’ stairs, with rock solid wide slabs
deceiving the eye searching for the walker’s friendly cairns;

often, the ghost of a sleakit silence would take form
and envelope all the ear’s mind, blanking
the inner bield, thoughts gone walkabout, then

an Teallach folded out into the giant’s cupped mitt

with the black lochan the giant’s spit, smack in the button-
avoiding the east ridge to save the dog, and
my dog-weary pins, we scrambled down the green stiff
drop to the dark lochan’s soft lip,

whistling and calling, every echo from the stacked rocky columns
ridged about the giant’s palm

boomeranged back in a long ripple, leaving
the long open bowl feeling more deserted still-

Sgurr Fiona, I’ll sup with thee again
thy red wine was sweet, thy rolling slopes so fine.

Roddy Scott

Note: an Teallach is Gaelic for ‘the Forge’, Sgurr Fiona: ‘hill of red wine’

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.