Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 87: Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoidh

Hymn to the Gàidhlig

My English lips are murmuring a prayer
in a tongue my mother didn’t know,
the cantering flow of Sgurr Leac nan Each,
the jagged kerf of Stuc a Choire Duibhe Bhic.

I hope to win A’Mhaighdean, drape her
with the jewels of Beinn Alligin.
I’ll forge my vowels in An Teallach’s fire,
lick the hiss where Sula Bheinn anvils the sky.

My finger feels the lethal tang of compass needles,
my eyes the blades of Cuillin slicing Coir Uisg spume,
still my palate undulates, feminine as a heather swell,
with the dappled lilt of Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoidh.

Norman Hadley

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