Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Sunday Post

Small Lochs

He's obsessed with clocks, she with politics,
He with motor cars, she with Amber and jet.
There's something to be obsessed with for all of us.
Mine is lochs, the smaller the better.
I look at the big ones – Loch Ness, Loch Lomond,
Loch Shin, Loch Tay – and I bow respectfully,
but they are too grand to be invited home.
How can I treat them in the way they'd expect?

But the Dog Loch runs in eights when I go walking.
The cat Loch purrs on the windowsill. I wade
along Princes Street through Loch na Barrack.
In smoky bars I tell them like beads.

And don't think it's just the big ones that are lordily named
I met one once and when I asked what she was called
the little thing said (without blushing, mind you)
The Loch Of The Corrie Of The Green Waterfalls.

I know they are just H2O in a hollow.
Yet not much time passes without me thinking of them.
Dandling lilies and talking sleepily
And standing huge mountains on their watery heads.

Norman MacCaig
December 1974.

6 comments:

Alison Cross said...

That's a lovely poem. I thought you might have written it yourself! I'm rubbish at poems. If it's not by someone that was part of the curriculum in 1978, then I have no idea who wrote what!

Ali x

Alistair said...

Hullo Ali, I wish I could write a poem like that! MacCaig was part of my secondary curriculum {thankfully} and I left in '77. Perhaps he was just part of my unaorthodox English teachers favourites and we got him as a result.......

Like you I recognise lots of poems but often struggle to name the authors!!!

IndigoWrath said...

Hi Alistair! I must admit I've often fancied seeing some lochs, but I've never made it that far north. Jedburgh is the furthest I've been! I'll try harder next time. And thanks for sharing the poem! Indigo

nicky said...

"Dandling lillies…" - lovely!

dbs said...

I think I prefer rivers to "lochs" but I think this terrific poem is more about obsessions and I have plenty of those.

Alistair said...

Indigo - There are plenty to see up here that's for sure. Jrdburgh's a nice wee town and not far from us here.

Nicky - He does have a cracking turn of phrase. I'm just enthralled by the talent he had.

dbs - I love waterscapes in all their guises but I think I'm with you on the rivers comment. {and your right about obsessions too. I've got lots quietly tucked away}

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