I see them in dreams, Ben More, Stobinian, Nevis, Schiehallion.
Bald and stern, no touch to soften or gentle, granite heaved
up and weathered down to what remains. Nothing more
Scottish that these – their inflexibility, their indifference.
They condemn pretension, and kill fools. Sleeping
monsters, these whales of hills have traveled
far and plan to go no farther. Cliffs, screes, ridges, flints,
ramparts, boulders, gullies. Such flanks, such haunches,
such wide breasts with nipples of cairns that point to heaven
as if a godlike child might reach down his lips and suck. Wind
wraps them in lamentation. Sun polishes their stubbornness.
Moon’s silver calls to the silver of their calm. Rain lashes
and lashes them and they do not deign to notice. And children,
looking up, see another kind of parent, one that endures.
from NEST OF THISTLES (University Press of New England, 2005)