An t-Eilean Sgitheanach

By Emily Teitsworth

in Scotland, the sky never touches the ground
it plays hide-and-seek
with gray-blue dubh Cuillin bheinn slopes
(sensational and woebegone)

Scots tell sgeulachdan of fairies that never die

light footsteps to the drawl of Mull of Kintyre
absentminded dannsa at dusk
on the Trotternish peninsula where Bodach an Stòir
overlooks the Sound of Raasay
from its perch atop Sgurr Alasdair

Nory told us that in the time of Clans, believing in fairies
was religious. He told us when Christianity came to Scotland
the Clans were hesitant, because how could this story of Jesus
explain all the peculiarities of their world?

I don’t know if the Scots still believe in sìthichean

what I do know is in every ionaltradh
every cluain, every uamha and gleann,
there are rumors of fae living in brambles
sometimes when the sun is about to rise
you swear you can see one
wearing clothes of aldur bark
and a birch tree crown
fluttering on lace-braided wings
toward yellow-leafed craobhan

An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: The Isle of Skye
dubh Cuillin bheinn: black Cuillin mountains
sgeulachdan: stories
dannsa: dancing
Bodach an Stòir: Old Man of Storr
Sgurr: peaks
sìthichean: fairies
ionaltradh: pasture
cluain: field
uamha: cave
gleann: valley
craobhan: trees


Check out Emily’s Photo: Fairy Pools at glen Brittle 


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