I Did Not Know You, Moniack Mhor

but you have always been there
in one guise or another.
I trace the range of Strathfarrar
    with my finger,
I draw the line of it in the air.

There is no sea, no sea here,
no Juno, Jupiter or Saturn
(the ships of my childhood).

At Moniack Mhor I lie with the bees,
their still bodies floating above me.
A horse rider clips in the lower valley,
    curlews cry in my ear.

Hills fall behind hills,
behind hills. Moniack Mhor
is forever opening—
a gift of dry grass, crab clouds,
the green nest of furze slowly breaking apart.

Nightly the yellow almond buds
    creep closer,
until I can taste them in the dark air.

- Marion McCready