A Bitter Wind

A poem about Culloden Battlefield today and the effects of the subsequent highland clearances.






And so, t’is a bitter wind that blows
around Drumossie.
A plaintive crow that lends a single voice
piercing guilty silence.
The moss itself, whispers among the slanted stones,
footsteps sinking into sacrifice.

Distant, calm blue firth betrays the battle-yells
awake forever on the breeze.
Over heathered moors, ruined cottages
stand sentinel to different times;

The Rowan, redundant now.
Red berries speak of spilled blood
and failure to protect hearth and home 
from supernatural but more so,

A weeping wound with no stopping;
Engrained on Highlanders for all time,
the ghostly call of the empty glens
echoes down the ages.


Final pic



© stormwolf 2021
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critique and comments welcome.
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Alison, You nailed this okay. Terrible times indeed. I visited Culloden some time ago and was shocked to see how many of my namesake ancestors were buried there. It was a very moving experience…
Gerry x


Thanks for that extra info Alison. I remember walking round the burial grounds–it took us a long long time. Nobody seems to learn do they ?
gerry x


Chilling and deeply sad at the same time. Excellent write, technique just about flawless. Kudos!


“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
So true Alison, also those who do not want to learn. Your poem tells of then and now but despite all the evidence we have to hope for ‘better’ in the future.
Oh and by the way, did I say, brilliant poetry.

PS I cannot find the word ‘Clowen’ in my dictionary. Should I take it to be Cloven?


Alison, you captured the feel of the place and its history. I have visited a few times and it’s a chilling, atmospheric, and yes haunting is the word here, a haunting place…Leila x


Read well and carried the horror of those Times – my paternal ancestors, the Mitchells, hailed from Aberdeen but fled to Wales to become miners and dray men. Mitch

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