View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Saturday 3 November

A bright day, although the morning was punctuated by some downpours. These faded after lunchtime, giving me the opportunity to go for a walk round the Castle Grounds, 3½ miles or so. It is particularly rewarding to do so at this time of the year, when the leaves are turning and falling. So far, this autumn has been quite benign in terms of high wind, which we have been spared. This means that rather than being blown off the trees, leaves have a chance of showing their colours.

I was not surprised that the New York marathon was cancelled for tomorrow, although some of the participants were. What planet were they on?

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Low sun
pale blue sky
bare branches
a cold wind

Dark green losing
colour to palest hue
Leaves gently
drift down

Demure yellow
before falling
Standing out
in final glory

Riches in berries
seeds being scattered
in the blanket of leaves
new life in waiting

Dark clouds speed in
the wind lifts its voice
the command is heeded
Leaves scatter

Distant hills don
their white caps
the sun now sets early
ice glazes what rain has wetted

The signal is raised
The window is open
For the voice of the North
To sing the final of the year

The clearance

Let's have some cuts
can't sustain all that lumber
I'm not here to provide
for those that can't help themselves

Back when Napoleon strode
the battlefields of Europe
we needed gunpowder
and only kelp would do

I had those natives
along the shoreline cutting
seaweed for me for
just a few bob

They didn't need much land
but now they're just sitting there
eating out of my pocket
leaving me out of pocket for all the meal

Going forth and multiplying
well, they can go on daddy's croft
divide, subdivide
and rule

I want my money out of them
Can't get it from anywhere else
Can't afford to be seen to be less rich
So they can't afford the rent?

Gone round the villages
Who's in arrears, off you go
We'll cancel what's owed
if you go to America

Here is the ship
you can take so much
leave the rest behind
including your relatives

Don't want to go, how dare you
Torch to the roof
Milk on the fire,
OK, we'll let you bury your dead

The statue stands grand
in the deserted glen
Green fields of grass
Rolling hills around

The statue stands grand
in the Canadian city
The achievements celebrated
of those boldly gone forth

Did they want to leave their
humble homesteads
where their forefathers
lived happily?

Achievements for sure
Many did great things
in the land of the prairie
But why not in their homeland?