Becoming the garden

Last week we stayed in  a house called Scàl’s Broch, just near Achiltibuie and overlooking the Summer Isles. Although there were some days when no one seemed to have told them it was summer, the setting was glorious.


But it’s the Broch I wanted to write about because it was an adventure in itself, like a hobbit house tucked under the hills with a grass roof – it had a ‘haircut’ when we were there!


I tore myself away from the view sometimes to write in my journal..


..and started to write this poem about becoming part of the landscape…


And it happens so slowly

you have time to wonder

if there is a verb for it,

to gardeninify, to absorb

through feet and knees

and hands and heart,


the essence of the place

until you are the garden,

waking in dreams as fertile

as the wildflower path

you must have planned in the night,

to stand stock still in supermarkets

because a yoghurt’s packaging

is exactly the colour of the rose

you’ve marked as possible,

(now definite)

the sounds of a stream

mirroring blood running


through your veins,

each jump and start

a seedling performing.

Come winter, you’ll be watching

still, the new curve of your back,

echoing the tree on the hill,

how the wind has moved

it so often, you could say

it has surrendered,


but even as you push

the mower over resisting grass

you feel the garden through your skin,

your hands deep in the soil

until you’re not sure if you are planting,

or if it’s you being planted,

the only thing you know

is that it doesn’t matter any more.

2013-07-11 10.44.07

2 thoughts on “Becoming the garden

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