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Orkney, the group of islands off the north of Scotland, is a truly inspiring place. Great for wildlife, sea- and landscape, and the finest place in Europe for neolithic remains it is a wonderful place to visit.

This poem has been gestating for eight months.

Orkney Mainland

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse18 Jan 2015

Northern sunlight entices
Gentle hills into seas
Where companionable seals
Rip fish apart.

Rings of stones speak
In tongues long forgotten
But still understood,
And neolithic certainties shelter

Beneath turf mounds so old
The earth grew up with them
To the late-coming laughter
Of Vikings.

Hen harriers follow me,
Pale ghosts unseen,
A lilt on the wind
And shadows in the grass.