My Heart Is In The Highlands, My Heart Is Not Here


Writer Catherine Faulkner visited us for a writing retreat recently. While she was here, she wrote this poem and took these lovely photographs. Thank you to Catherine for allowing us to share them here.

Here we breathe in air so rich it stuns our London-corrupted lungs.

Richness, too, in the grass, green and fat on the sweep of hills.

The air is perfumed by melodies sweetly played – 

The idle drone of bees,

The pleading bleat of new lambs and the returning call of their mothers.

When the wind lulls itself quiet there is a perfect silence.

Here are the ever-changing mountains; blue in the mornings, now brown,

Veiled in clouds, and its flowers are a bridal clutch that wed us to the land:

Thistles new and in their greying age, 

Heather in heaps of purple,

Gorse, bracken, clover spelt over the ground like an incantation.

Red berries prick at hedgerows like a fresh spill of blood.

Here, on the edge of the world, there are other worlds in the faded paths,

In tall pines beckoning with dark secrets, the lush tread of moss underfoot.

There is an older magic at Moniack Mhor

And we do not notice 

Until we smell the smoke that has weaved into our hair,

See the cling of soot under our fingers,

Remember dreams now scattered with an astonishment of stars.

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