Raining Cats and Dogs

They say the weather in Scotland is unpredictable- typically four seasons in one day but at this time of year it’s mostly the wet stuff!

 Two poems about April Showers

April showers
Are here again
And I can hear the loud thunder
Also

By Aldo Kraas

 

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Photographic image by the author

When April Showers

When April showers,
I shower with her.
Daffodils dance
As we make love
like paper into origami.
My driveway
Becomes a lovers’ lane.

By John Peter Creighton

Sweet Dreams

It was not an ordinary day.
The east wind sparked salt and I awoke
to dreams of the unicorn. My old bones
rolled the waves and the falcon’s shadow
shifted. I knew what I must do.

Down Fast Eddie I chased the Dragon’s Tail,
surfed by leafy isles, rested in deepening
pools a while, glimpsed churches, spiraling treetops,
salmon swimming through castle walls.
I passed beneath Ness Bridge unseen.

It was the end of an ordinary day. So at So Coco
the waitress wrapped sweet fancies in tissue twists
as the last customer licked cappuccino
from his lips. At The Mustard Seed the chef marinaded
for dinner. At the Victorian Market they folded
tartan as gates clanged and the clock chimed.
In Falcon Square the piper belched away his ale

and no-one
saw my passing.  No-one saw the unicorn
fall.

 

Note 1:- The Loch Ness Monster is a mythical aquatic creature reputed to dwell deep in the cold waters of Loch Ness near Inverness in Scotland.  There have been numerous sightings and photographs showing a curvaceous beast rising out of the grey waves.

Note 2:- The unicorn is Scotland’s national animal.  A statue of a unicorn is located in Falcon Square, a landmark in the centre of the city of Inverness.

 

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Photographic image created by the author

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Scotland is the land of magical rainbows.  Unfortunately this also means there’s a lot of rain, particularly on the west coast.  Scottish weather is typically ‘four seasons in one day’,  always unpredictable and a popular topic of conversation.  Warm jumpers, boots and waterproofs are essential.  Umbrellas are useless as it’s usually too windy!

Here are a couple of my favourite photographs shot through the rain splattered windscreen while I was waiting for the ferry to the Isle of Unst (one of the Shetland Islands and Britain’s most northerly point).  I love the atmospheric distortion of the images, almost like an Impressionist painting.  Hope you like them too!

 

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Original Images by the author

The Road

buckles and bends
a bandage of rain
-bows shadowing
the shore. The sea watches,
murmurs peace man
or cries life sucks!
One after the other
they come seeking;
white camper vans
celebratory as iced
party cakes sprinkled
with cycles, paddles,
canoes, fishing tackle,
picnic hampers crammed
with yummy goodies;
coachloads of pixelated
tourists, heads turning
in syncopated rhythm,
dead-lined couriers
weary in uniform
Ford Transits; tinted salesmen
swaying on hangers
in Vauxhall Astras.
The sea watches,
curious in turquoise
or flirty with plutonium frills.
Always too cold for swimming
beyond the no-man’s
land scarred with ruins
and new builds.
One after the other;
the vintage Harleys,
the butt naked
End-to Enders,
the goggling Euros,
the English salt
and vinegar families
all seeking the lights
of John o’Groats.

 

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Painting (acrylic on canvas) by the author

Some Like It Cold

In John o’Groats Marilyn is ready
for the fray, fresh lipstick, folded pink
napkins, polished counters.
And her namesake pouts from on high.

One scoop or two? She’s ample
with vanilla, frivolous with fudge
frosting when the Orkney ferry men
drop by for cones and the latest crack.

The easterly ripples the canopy stripes,
keening like the piper from the pier,
The Pentland Strait froths whirlpools
of café au lait on the rocks.

End to Enders celebrate, guzzling
champagne, taking turns taking
photographs under the signpost.
By lunchtime Marilyn’s low

on peaches and cream, high on rum
and raisin.  She pops out for a fag,
sits on her bench in the car park reading
War And Peace as Stroma disappears into haar.

Herring gulls scout for wafers at her feet.
A bus full of Germans reverses past
the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, clockwork heads
turning her way.  Mizzled tourists queue

but Marilyn is oblivious. The wind surges
and her skirts swirl like a snow flurry.
A sudden gust and she rises, bench and book
and all, up, up high into meandering skies.

 

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Note 1:- John o’Groats is a small village on the far north eastern tip of Scotland with spectacular views out to the Orkney Islands.  It’s a landmark destination for tourists, many of whom wrongly assume it’s the most northerly point of mainland Britain.  In fact, a remote spot named Dunnet Head is the most northerly point and is located about 15 miles west of John o’Groats.  ‘End to Enders’ is the phrase used to describe the many determined folk who journey like pilgrims, sometimes on foot or by bizarre means, from Land’s End (Britain’s most southerly point) to John o’Groats, a distance of 874 miles.

Note 2:- ‘Crack’ or ‘Craic’ is a northern term meaning gossip, news or chatter.

Note 3:- Stroma is a small abandoned island, part of the Orkney group.