Flax-headed Ultach eye of a storm, he sleeps -
He of the Norse nose, now resident in London.
Cú Chulainn’s hounds are not biddable by me,
And do not gallop west through the tracked tunnels
Beneath the Thames but in my mind,
Like Philistines come to subdue him. “Come,
Prove to me the love that had you summon me from Clapham.
Blind with it you need not stray, nor I.”
The Fenian wolves dash and snarl at the door of love.
Trim then his beard, but with gentle hands – he sleeps.
With the shepherding fingers of a Gael
I will take his locks.
Shorn and becalmed, shall he be as any man.
Kirsty MacLeod is a poet whose work draws heavily on the Hebridean landscapes that she grew up in and on the strong connection between island culture and nature.