An early rise, a blink from last night. Now
charging North through darkness, border crossing
by light. Landforms lift and alter. The sea ferries.
Coveting the code of the keypad release.
We open to a vacated existence:
artisan biscuits and wine welcome us in.
Baggage dumped. Kids claiming beds. Flicking through
the laminated guide. Settings. Making home
from home. Shopping list treats (OJ with the bits).
Leafing the left behind books; becoming
a weeklong expert in local fauna.
Outpaced by sun, noticing clouds, shifting. Slow
days. Sat out late, wine each night. Soon knowing
the quirks of the place. The hot water. That lock.
Unwinding, immersing, until Thursday, Fri…
Returning to that little place we found.
Craft mementoes bought for the mantlepiece.
Half-packing the night before – their DVD
or ours? Taking pics for decor ideas.
Then the morning sweep. Wiping away all trace.
Depositing waste in the right coloured bin.
Taking only the impression, the light;
the shape of space, so later lulled to find yourself,
reliving that situation, that place.
Mistress lands, island
dreams. To stay beyond…
Night boats, dances,
beaches alone. Lush
fields parting your
caresses you now –
altering your countenance.
More than a mirage:
the Scottish notes unspent,
folded tight in my wallet.
The boarding pass, unmoved
from the dashboard. Fading
from some other light.
Lady Anstruther’s Tower
This is the place she took the water.
The commissioned folly elevated
high on the rocks, surveys Ruby Bay,
the sandy inlet, in which she bathed.
Her morning routine declared
to townsfolk by a servant
ringing the bell along High St.,
preserving her delicate position.
The view cleared like Balclevie,
a whole village moved
from her estate to enhance the prospect
over breakfast. Decency aside,
what remains? The folly stands. Restored.
The arched entrance softened by sea, sky,
centuries, and smiles of passers-by
picturing themselves against its framed light,
luminous, ever-shifting, always free.
Peter Burrows lives in the North West. His poems have appeared widely including the recent Places of Poetry anthology and The Cotton Grass Appreciation Society and Tree Poets Nature anthologies. His poem Tracey Lithgow was shortlisted for the Hedgehog Press 2019 Cupid’s Arrow Poetry Prize.
Peter writes about 3 poems:
All three are inspired by Scotland where I’ve lived, holiday and still have
family. Holiday Home is about the drive to the West Coast and immersing oneself in the rhythms of a place. Mistress Lands was inspired by several visits to Orkney – a place where a day does not go by that my thoughts aren’t drifting to wondering what the weather or light is like there, almost leading a double life, hence the title. Lady Anstruther’s Tower is about land ownership in the late 1700s and the suppression of tenants, and the eventual release over time of a beauty spot and its tower, and how its meaning changes over time.