Scáthach – a poem by Ruby McCann


it isn’t the wild scattered heather
or that single settled thistle
rooted in snaking weeds
snarling and snagging
her unruly sun-scorched uncombed hair
trailing unkempt from hill bottom to hill top
masking rebels of yesteryear

nor the giant of a woman she conjures
striding through a hazy uninhabited haar
capping the harsh landscape
determination flying with every step
passed the Old Man covered in moss
no …….it’s not those invoked imaginings
that was another place
where our gritty ancestors of crumbling basalt rest
their embedded stillness steeped
in sensual purple clustered hues
cloaking sheets of bare-jagged drifting-naked rock
anchored in sea water

a bold bouldering shadowy woman
scales the serrated pot-bellied pinnacle
perpetuating otherworldly passage
it is she that awakens hearts

choosing when we see her
she stands overlooking the sound
filled with something gentle we can only feel
despite the distance we are close to her
closer than we know
some of us aware knowing she comes
only at the right time

for those of us who see through shadows
she appears suddenly a vision crowned in holly
wearing a brilliant burst of green mantle
that settles
welcome her when she comes
for even as she holds us
she will also let go

Ruby McCann is a creative practitioner who holds degrees from Trinity Washington and University of Glasgow.  She has published work in publications, You Don’t Look British, Anti-Heroin Chic, Gaelstrom-1 Magazine, Invisible Cities, Poetry Scotland, Journeys, Word Rhythms, and many others.  She lives in Glasgow, Scotland next to the River Clyde.  Nature and walking inspires her writing.

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