Mountainbiking in Scotland

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There are no words
Doing justice to mountains wearing an ice crystal tiara, once the sun hits after a snow shower.
The layered papercut of hills stretches seemingly endless into the horizon
Spring growth is slowly changing the landscape
Still predominantly browns–you would think it’s boring
But the dramatic light as clouds chase the sun

Or is sun chasing the clouds?

Takes your breath anyway.
Hidden emerald jewels made of small ponds
Are dotted across the broken skin of the ancient hills.
Thousands of birds, a deer looks at us curiously, red squirrels dash across paths,
And I almost have an air traffic accident with a robin–we are both racing downhill.
It smells of summer in waiting.
Of bark and rain.
As soon as the sun breaks through the clouds my cold fingers warm up.
Rough ground crunches underneath my tires.
The tick green of pines darkens the path.
Only sunrays manage to break through,
Dousing us in green light.
The scent becomes heavy with acidic soil.
And still there are no words to describe the scenery adequately

A Day in the Isle of Skye


Lashes and lashes of rain
Are pelting the windscreen
Windshield wipers trying their best to catch up
We are on a mission
Dinosaurs were here
On Skye 166 million years ago

Not by humans

But their footprints
20 years ago
By two humans and their dog
Some sort of mutated hairy dinosaur descendant

We stand there
On slippery ground
Soggy feet
Soggy hats
The waterproofed rest withstands the elements

So we stand
Whilst water gently drips off us
Into the 166 million year old footprints
And our minds cannot phantom
That chunk of time
That time line
We can see this point in history right in front of us
Feel the imprint of the toes underneath our fingers
What we cannot see
Is the distance between here and then 

We continue on a cliff-walk
An overly excited father 
Beak full of worms
Tries to distract us from a nest
On the ground
Another dinosaur descendant 
A tiny could-be-dragon
Without fire but feathery wings

Is this where dragon stories come from?
Our–non dinosaur–ancestors finding bones
And skulls with prehistoric sharp edged teeth
Or is it because the hills look like sleeping dragons
Mist gently rising from overgrown nostrils

We walk along the cliff-edge
Basalt columns grumble underneath
They remember the dinosaurs
They have seen it all
Violent heat, emerging, cooling, changing, eroding
They watched
Watched on
And still remember a time when the animals
Whose fins we see emerging from our viewpoint
Looked quite differently indeed
Somehow the dolphins remind me of dinosaurs
Animals in-between
Sharp teeth, hunting, but for strange reasons
Like to play with humans
We watch them jump out of the waves
A waterfall is thundering next to us
Contributing to the decay of the basalt
With destructive powerful beauty

Somewhen in that chunk of time
Between here and then
Humans emerged
And as humans emerged other consciousness found an audience
Bound to place and nature
Essences of entities awakened changed from their slumber
Because humans live through stories
Humans want words that make-things-so 
Words that pack meaning into tiny parcels
Which they string into necklaces of being

So the beings awakened into a consciousness 
That limited them to the words and stories of humans
They knew they were more than that
The humans felt they were more than that
And so humans created rituals to grasp what their stories could not
And they left the places of these ancient beings marked 
To remember that there are stories that cannot be told
But humans like the basalt have changed
Keen edges softened
Ancient stories retold shifted and morphed 
Becoming echoes of their own memories
And with the stories the ancient beings too faded back into the landscape


Some rituals remained because they hold more than the stories could
So the fairy glen holds an infinity circle
A fairy hill has trees with colorful ribbons and gifts
Fires are lid on the longest night and the longest day
And when the sun dies and is reborn
The stories have changed
Yet our rituals hold fast
As we throw a coin in a well
And bind a bright ribbon on a tree
They know
And somewhere deep down we do, too
We hear the echo of stories never told

Outer Hebrides: Gale Force 10

Balranald Campground–North Uist

The weather is merciless
Our tent howls and tries to take off like a chained dragon
The noise of the storm is incredible
A rock concert of sorts

Naughty by nature

Everything moves

Even the athletic swifts have no chance and sit exhausted on a fencepost

The guiding lines vibrate with tension
Or maybe they are shivering in the relentless rain?

Our name sign is tagged into a wooden pool
the place number long gone


Thousands of wild flowers dance in rhythm of the gusts

A seagull is blown past the tent
She barely manages to stabilise

Summer in Scotland

I wear my woolly hat
And socks mum knitted for me
As I take in deep breaths of salty air
And listen to the deafening production

Kingfisher and Rain

May in Scotland

A lightning bold
Metallic blue
Dipped out of the canal
Into the trees

Flashes of blue
A bobbing jewel
Follows us
Along the water

A heavy scent, mixture of
Hawthorne, Bluebells, Lilac
Tangible, weights me down
Dash: the blue lighting bold
Emerges from the water
Stickleback in his beak

The successful hunter
Manages to hide amongst the trees
Before the downpour
We not

I stretch my arms to the sky
And laugh
Warm water rinses the heavy scent away
Replacing it with pertrichor
May in Scotland

An Ancient Song


The moon stood in an almost perfect circle on the firmament. For her, this meant time for ritual. The priestess sighed sometimes she wished there were different ways. Sometimes she wished she could refuse to see.
It was a warm summers’ night despite the light rain that hung over the coast for days. She loved this weather, the rain was not strong enough to permeate the clothes and mist arose steaming from the meadows, floating over the small creek in front of her house. This is the time when the fairies are dancing, her thoughts drifted to the heavy scent of wet soil, dead leaves and moss that filled the air. How she loved the smell of the woods and earth, entwined with the salt of the sea. She took deep breaths and enjoyed the peace, while the wolves howled in the distance. They are howling to the moon, they are praying like me; she thought and sighed. There was change in the air soon, far too soon—but not yet.

Her hut stood in some distance from the settlement. It was close to the sacred place she took take care of at the foot of the mountain range. The mountains silhouetting in the back of her house framed the idyllic place she called her home for a long time now. She was contemplating how much she had enjoyed the years here. What would she be doing? Would the change force her to leave? Should she go back to the green isle? The wolves where still howling, soon, far too soon—but not yet.

She forced the dark thoughts away and tried to focus on the task at hand. Taking in the chilly night air with deep breaths she tried to empty her mind. She had washed face, feet and hands before taking the gifts to the goddess. Fresh milk, oatcakes and some flowers would do during an ordinary summer’s night. When she reached the place close to the waterfall she put the things down on a little altar and poured some of the milk into the water. After she bound her skirts up with a knot Rhiannon stepped into the stream. The cold mud squeezed through her toes, invigorating fresh water around her ankles washed the tiredness away. She pressed her feet deep into the mud. With raised arms the young woman looked like a statue, carved into the landscape for eternity, the moonlight on her skin leaving her seemingly translucent and a quiet breeze in her hair.

The wolves where howling again in an eternal night in an ancient time singing old songs of life, singing old songs of love, singing old songs of war and of hunt.
But they were also singing the song of change, as the earth had told her, change as the water had told her—a necessary change the fire had said. And she sang to the moon and to the wolves the ancient song of life.

Soon far too soon, but not yet.

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