• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 09


                       of peace, the peace
of an early morning walk up the hill,
a walk that led to the back alleyways
of forgotten anger, of buried hurt.

I remembered cycling along the Cam,
our shadows entangled,
our laughter flew like butterflies
amidst sun-drenched greenery;
I remembered our whispering conversations,
now indistinct, in city parks or busy streets,
echoing what was growing in our hearts ―
the freedom of being young,
where joy was the colour of innocence.

But nothing lasted forever.
As the scene turned sepia,
our shadows went their separate ways.
No more red green blue, or purple orange yellow
in dashing shades ―
and so only black-and-white,
or a lifeless grey, filled every day.

It was a barren landscape up the hill:
I was reminded of a burnt-out car
abandoned by a drovers’ way
not far from Loch Cùl Fraoich ―
a mound of fag-ends next to the passenger side
marking the once-human, now hollow, shape.



Walking bred imagining, imagining
became exhausting; desolation could swallow
the soul, if you’re not careful.
I felt parched, bereft of hope,

until I saw a picture of pastoral conviviality
served with simple dishes of home-grown leaves
tossed in olive oil, mixed nuts on hard-boiled eggs,
and fresh fruits for sweets;
where the guitarist let loose his salmon-leaping notes
that imperceptibly brought about
a change of heart; where rainbow colours
had taken over the hitherto empty space;
where the unpronounceable was,
at long last, given a name.

I strolled down the hill that was now
fully awake to the immaculate morning,
with humble confidence that the joy would remain.