A Wester-Ross sunset

I've just completed another painting commission, this time a sunset view down past Aultbea and Isle Ewe as seen from the lay-by above the NATO pier. (Although you can see some of the pier from up there I have left out all ot it. This place does not deserve such a man-made excrescence.)

It is an oil on canvas, size 100 x 70 cm.

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And this is the verse to go with it ...



A Loch Ewe Hogmanay  (why the 'Hogmanay' when I painted it in August? Artistic license)

Another tide climbs slow up Loch Ewe’s shores
that wind from Aultbea up to Mellon Charles;
and as this year sinks down behind the Hebrides
I find the time to look, to breathe, to pause.

To stop awhile, to think of what has been
here, and that ancient race whose warrior clans,
fought tooth and sword for this un-barren place:
this wonderland, MacUrtsi* poet’s dream.

Transmuting skies wash the slow-changing scene
in glorious sunset’s blood-red afterglow;
incoming dark will for me hide no foe
‘though starry night will be where light has been.

Some creatures rest; those talking geese will sleep
upon a crofter’s field or stony shore
but others, wide-eyed hunters, hunt once more,  
search out their rightful prey, in silence creep.

For me life’s constant super-pace has slowed,
soothed by the touch of nature’s gentle hand; 
for me and those who this place understand  
no more is reaped than that which has been sowed.

I see the lights down in the village hall
where, later, folk will dance the night away
and Hogmanay will bring a New Year’s Day
and hoped for peace on earth, and joy to all.

Bryan Islip
September 2013-09-02

*  The MacUrtsi used to be the title given by the MacRae
to its clan poet, that title being passed down the generations,
father to son.

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