Sketch For The West Highland Way

Mountain road goes on and on
Weaving magical memories along mystic trod paths
Hidden eyes peer through hazy rock strewn volcanic boulders.

Han Shan’s invisible poetic Buddhist voice resounds in the
Rough and tumble of spin dryer launderette wilderness.

Han Shan’s remote and distant Chinese mountain hermitage
Poetic voice buried deep in murky catacomb surrounds of Rob Roy’s suspended cave
Concealed in rugged sealed curtain cliff face high up
Above turgid oil paint splashed banks of Loch Lomond.

Wander through Chinese pen and ink brush stroked
Rain weathered scotch mist hillside
Embrace with wild open heart tartan kilted terrain.
Venture across unexplored and uncharted oceans
Hypnotic footsteps carve out the beginning of an endless journey
Traversing ancient tracks scored deep in granite earth
By a Neolithic sculptured hand.
Follow ancient track parallel to the rusted decaying iron horse railroad,
Feel the heat of history fill the veins of this arterial military road
Which once echoed to hollow hobnail boot drum beats
Of the feared dragooned red coat army
Freshly blooded, returning from the Battle of Culloden killing fields.

Phantom forests remnants of untamed Scottish pine plantation
Seasoned escapees from bleak satanic mill, industrialized,
Regimented, privatized, forestry board pine forest.
Ghost writer reports, residues of lost worlds,
Sporadic sentinels delineated on this
Dead to the world desolate mountain side.



History still penetrates these harsh vistas and through the constant drizzle
I still see the charred thatched crofter’s roof
Recently laid waste in this ethically cleansed battle ground
Men, women and children felled by heavy weight English iron swords.
Clearing the land for deer and sheep and for future grouse shoots.

Rest on purple heather hilltop take in the splendor of distant snow cap mountain,
Watch the graceful flight of a golden eagle,
Fly through the daybreak eye of one’s inner consciousness and
Enter this dream landscape,
Stand marooned in the driving wind and rain as my
Voice is unplugged and turned loose in this
Vast-sparse emptiness.

The squeak of British rail luminous orange plastic worker’s
Rain sodden mac fills my weariness with imagined bird song
Dangles in the arms of sultry storm petral breeze,
Sky larking, ducking and diving amongst dark menacing
Storm clouds gathering within the confines of this unmarked war zone
Threatening to unleash their savage barbaric might and
Spoil the freshness of this sparkled heat star bliss night.


Poem Extracts

"Listens to the city sounds and inhales the
Jerk chicken and salt fish and charcoal smells
Of carnival."

Ode to a Jay off Grosvenor Road