We forget all about them
in the year’s darkness, in the long winter.
Without a sound they are there one morning;
a kind of sunlight grown from the ground –
as if some call had woken them
from the underworld of their sleep,
out into the middle of March
to Easter the earth with their heads.… ....Read the rest
Once upon a time they came in clouds
to dip and swivel over opened fields;
the spring wind, patched with sunlight,
and lapwings up above and all around –
a shimmer of iridescent green.
Now there are no more.
I hear their absence, waken in the early light
knowing they are gone and won’t return.… ....Read the rest
I don’t remember when I discovered Skype. All I do know is that I was in the depths of despair about seeing my little girl Willow who had gone back to the south of Germany with her mother. I was haunted by the fear I would lose touch with her completely, that things would become more and more distant until I hardly knew how to relate to her, or she to me.… ....Read the rest
I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago concerning my newest novel ‘The Well of the North Wind’. But I’m aware that I didn’t include anything from it, and this time I want to do so. The strange thing is that the novel started out as a short story, and for a long time nothing more than that first part – the short story – was put onto paper.… ....Read the rest
All January the hills curved with perfect snow;
now this morning the grazed eyeball of a moon
rolls into blue silence. A sunlight,
frail and liquid, sluices all the fields.
A tattered huddle of a lamb
rends the day with sadness.… ....Read the rest
The old man looked at him wearily in the half-dark of the stone cell. He had been up since five that morning, and the ache in his left hip had not lessened in the least. But still he did not allow himself to sit to pray.… ....Read the rest
Something moving happened the other day. Real winter came here two weeks ago: suddenly the rain changed to snow and the nights became frosted with stars. In the morning, the pond at the bottom of the garden was covered with a pale white ice.… ....Read the rest
Today my newest novel The Well of the North Wind was published by SPCK in London. The strange thing is that the story was written not on the island of Iona (where the novel is set) but in Arctic Norway. Last winter I was staying up north of the Arctic Circle to write another book entirely, about the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia.… ....Read the rest
I spent New Year on my beloved island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. I hadn’t been there all year long and, as always, I began to pine for it. I wanted also to spend time hidden away and praying: there are worries and fears in my family, and I needed time alone to think and be still.… ....Read the rest
The first volume of short fiction which I put together over six or seven years was entitled The Ice and other stories. It was a sheer labour of love. I wanted all the stories to have a track record, to have appeared in literary journals both at home and abroad.… ....Read the rest