Last Thursday I met up with my friend Callum in Catterline. We walked by the shore, had lunch in the Creel Inn, visited a lighthouse and failed to find a path to a forgotten cliff-top village.

I have written this poem about our day. It is for Callum.


Where Joan once painted vast skies disappearing into distant seas:
along the pebbled shore we wandered and blethered.

In The Creel we had lunch:
I chose cod, you chose sole.
Lunch, as it always seems to do,
provided us a further opportunity to explore the world!

By the warmth of the burning fire,
in the rationed light of winter,
we could still see and feel the colour of past summers’.

Leaving The Creel we set off in The Rebel explorer
[it is Series II, you know]
to look for a long since forgotten cliff-top village.
By Kinneff church we came to a halt:
what a Jewel of place,
surrounded by sad, leaning stones
that generations ago,
were tended with love.
Here, we shared our unbelief: monumental and otherwise.

By a tombstone [that had caught Peter’s eye] –
not for what it said, but for the unusual typeface
inscribed by hand:
Bending down, almost kneeling, to look closer,
we talked about Alasdair.

Here, for some, or no reason;
The Keeper was with us
[even if the very idea of this being imaginary],
it is still, a beautiful idea.
A comforting idea, as invisible as angels
that we do not believe in.

What we had that day was our story.

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