2007 - 2022

Poem of the week : Shawbost



Give me the soft white sands and tiny shells of home,
arms, like an anchor around me.
And the sound of children playing in rock pools
at my back.
If you will not give me that;
give me a howling gale.
The kind that shrieks
and screams in your ears
that frightens birds
and flattens trees.
let me meet it:
teeth on.
Let it lift these flimsy thoughts from my mind,
tear asunder these feeble dreams
and take me, from this scree-clad hillside
across the mighty, heaving, grey-green ocean
through rain that comes at you sideways
and stings and slashes the skin
until I am back,
once more, in Shawbost
standing on that grassy cliff top
beside the hole in the sea
with its awesome, pounding roar
that takes hold of your ears and your heart
and, like love,
fills you with fear and draws you close.



Katharine MacFarlane is an award-winning Skye-based poet, writer, workshop facilitator and ex-Children and Young People’s Librarian whose lyrical poetry is rooted in the history, landscape and folklore of Scotland. 2020’s Scottish Slam Champion, Katharine’s new collection Home Words is out now.

Comments (6)

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  1. Andrew Wilson says:

    thats a wonderful poem, captures many feelings, and very evocative of place.

    1. Katharine says:

      Thank you Andrew, delighted you enjoyed it!

  2. babs nicgriogair says:

    Dìreach àlainn ! Takes me back to ‘ an taobh siar ‘ / west side of Lewis in a heartbeat ! taing

    1. Katharine says:

      Thanks Babs, glad you enjoyed it. Hope to be back on the west coast soon myself!

  3. James Dow says:

    The Returning
    I have been here before again and again
    Deep in my soul the past does remain
    Others eyes scenes, along with their dreams
    Everything feels just as it seems
    I have held the targe and battle hammer
    Kept my nerve through murderous clamour
    Cried for our lost loved all my own
    Time after time we all are re sown
    James Dow

    1. Katharine says:

      Really enjoyed reading this, thanks James

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