Calanais Standing Stones, Outer Hebrides
After Bernadette Mayer
I guess it’s too late to walk the standing stones of Scotland.
I guess it’s too late to live on the outskirts of standing stones.
I guess it’s too late to start life over in the harsh heather of northern Scotland.
Too late to endure the midges of summer and the rages of winter.
We’ll never have a stone circle on our small lot in the valley.
On the farm, I wanted to have a circle way out in the back of 40 acres.
I’m too old to travel to Scotland. What is it, fifty five hours in the air?
I’d have to take my leopard cane and wear my neck brace.
I guess I couldn’t walk for three days. We’re not suited to travel now.
He couldn’t take his supplements, all the mushrooms and bitters and licorice.
I’ll never write poetry beneath the towering stones of the ancients.
I cannot travel like Clair in Outlander or I would have been there years ago.
We couldn’t get there even if we had the money.
Maybe I’ll just go walk the labyrinth in Fairhaven Park.
It won’t be the same. The shadows are different.
No, I’ll never go to Temple Wood or Ring of Bridgar.
I wonder if Bobby Burns walked far off on a “bra’d breck moonlec nic”
to lay with the ghosts of the past? My ancestors in a circle.
It’s too much work for a poet to gather all the writing materials,
the artist to trudge with easel and canvas and proper brushes,
it’s just too much to go to the standing stones of Scotland,
Loanhead of Davot, Creann Halavig, Cnoc Filibbir, Calanais.
I would have to learn Gaelic first and find the my clan’s tartan.
I am a poet and my Muse has long wandered the standing stones of Scotland.