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March 31 , 2011

The House of Trees


On the Isle of Skye, in the Highlands of Scotland, there is a small derelict burial chapel beside a moorland road. A large twining ivy, white and bone-dead, crawls up the roofless walls. Nearby, a small group of yew trees shelter a gravestone, a living green monument, evergreen in a windswept, wan landscape. On the other side of the island, on the road to Portree, there is a deserted croft, again roofless, but this one filled with a copse of young trees. It is on the edge of a small village, newer houses just a stone’s throw away.
Both images speak of time, of mortality, of people living and passing on. These are the starting points for an extended poem that explores the dream of a land and its inhabitants. It is a weaving together of history, myth and landscape, an exploration of mind, of other worlds and other views. It examines the nature of our relationship to place, our need to feel that we belong, and our yearnings for freedom and independence.

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