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I'm saying goodbye to it all
for a month. I'm away to the Highlands.
I don't mean the Bonnie Prince Charlie
trail, with its kilted shortbread
and sprigs of white heather. I mean


the real Highlands, where hills
are moon-shaped and barely green,
where water is so clear
you can see the hairs on your toes,
where air is cool and clean and blows
worries you thought you had
to John O' Groats and beyond
and even the sheep are gone.


Yes, I will go to Sutherland.
Farewell flash fripperies of Ullapool
and on where names are Gaelic,
Viking, Pictish; unpronounceable
to my untutored tongue,
but strong and bold as the landscape:


Suilven, Quinag, Beinn Spionnaidh.


And I will go to the high hills
and there, beneath wild rainbows
ride on eagle wings,
try to find myself
(lost in this spinning world)
among the lonely eyries
where the wind roars.