Dunes of Heather


IMG_9370Loch Tay

Between the castle and the Loch—
a long way by car—
we harness wet
shadowless views of fells
and sloped valleys.IMG_9572
Between the bald hills
and our partially cobbled way,
dunes of heather
roll out like quilts over
the bracken-covered
hillocks where sheep graze
quietly, unaware of anything
but the taste of clover and
the crunch of yellowed grass.
While hedges of purple
sprawl across the hilly pass,
the rain only seeks to glisten
the already blurry passing of time.


from our 2011 trip to ScotlandIMG_9407

The True Weight

West Highland Way, August 2011; a little tough, a little glorious


eric in pain

The True Weight

We make a list of all our favorite moments—
best hikes, finest meals— skipping
over the hard parts—when boots filled
with muck and rain froze our hands
and spun through the plastic
of our water-proof coats, each cursed step
you suffered through pain without ever
surrendering to sighs. Cataloging
the singular bluebell doesn’t really

tell the whole story. The tiny tear-shaped
flower pressed between “A Dream” and
“Ode to the Memory of Mrs. Oswald”
in the pages of Robert Burns
does not relate the true heft of that volume—
the pages, browned and frayed, turn easily
one at a time but bound together
they hold the true weight of the poet’s words.

So too, yellow broom and wood sorrel
decorating the ascent through Glen Nevis
or the heather spilling lavender toward
the modest peak of Bien Inverveigh
can never be summarized
in one sprig of tiny rainbow blooms.

From Four Blue Eggs, Homebound Publications, 2014