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

imagine
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

Definitions
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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Heartland and Highland

By Gretchen Hintze

This is a land of mists and myths

We stand in the palms of giants

their faces carved into mountains

by ancient magic and bitter grudge

Dash about the Fairy Glen, keep quiet, keep gentle

lest they snatch you away–

rolling endless green to mischief dark and quick

Old Man of Storr stands tall in the fog,

he reminds us that friendship

transcends grief and realms and time

This is a land of legends and legacies

Clansmen and kings haunt forests and castles,

ghosts of bloodshed, royal and barbaric

each fighting for his land in battles centuries past

A gray and green sprawl of earth and air and water,

the lochs are still, the air is clean as sun beams through clouds

along the peaceful coastline of Skye

Stories pulse through the air, as if Scotland is whispering.

telling of itself, of history and lore, of monsters and men,

All winding through a land of beauty, and green, impossibly green.