Spotlight Poetry – Pack Road – A Poem by Derek Ross @


Pack Road

I’m drifting along the old pack road
From Polmaddy to Braidenoch Hill,
The way is lined with willow herb
And by fractured dry stone dykes.
Beyond them, a sea of pine trees
Break upon the slopes of The Rhins.

My chart gives the name of the hills,
Millyae, Millfire, Milldown, Carlins Cairn,
Craigbrock, Corserin, Craignelder,
But there is no real meaning here,
old names have long since drowned
In wave upon wave of other tongues.

Yet, I can get a sense of it all,
In this landscape, this openness,
This no nonsense grittiness.
The old language was like that,
Describing place, nature, purpose.
Ancient voices still whisper here.

I have passed the hanging rock,
Ahead, the hill of the carved cross.
There, I will stop for a while, rest,
Moor myself, to a past beyond me,
Dip into the flow of meanings,
The why and wherefores of journeys.

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Spotlight Poetry – September – A Poem by Derek Ross @ Photos – Poems – Haiku



The forest is breathing
on the edge of September,
but the trees are creaking
like time-worn bones.

The turn is here again,
With is no fanfare,
just a dusting of lost leaves,
sprinkled on forest ways.

Still, there is a glint
in the tree tops, enough
for life to thrive in,
a comfort, an affirmation,

that we are not leaving,
we are holding on,
wringing each drop of light
from every new dawn.

Derek Ross

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Spotlight Poetry – Crakaig Millhouse, Isle of Ulva – A Poem by Derek Ross @ Photos Poetry and Haiku


Crakaig Millhouse, Isle of Ulva

This is a hard island,
History has ground out
A past with a coarse grain.

Here, in this broken mill,
Two millstones lie mute,
Their edges like parted lips,

Lichen clinging like crumbs.
Now, only the wind scrapes,
Only dark crows scavenge.

Ferns feed on emptiness,
Drink the damp of old tears,
Bury the stones of past lives.

Yet, see how those clouds part,
How light swallows the grey?
There is always life,

Always a means to sustain.
Memories feed us all,
Here, you can have your fill.

Derek Ross

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Spotlight – Stake-Lines – Photography and Poems by Derek Ross @ photos poetry and haiku


Stake-Net fishing is an ancient and once popular method of salmon fishing on the Solway Firth. Nets were strung between poles that stretched out into the estuary. It is thought, by some, that this is an even more ancient form of fishing than “Haaf Netting”, which is of Norse descent. I like to think that stake-nets may have been seen and caught the imagination of the Norsemen as they occupied this part of South West Scotland.

Stake-Lines This string of stakes sticking out of solway sand, they are like the ribs, of some great leviathan, that, having spawned, beached itself and died, out of empathy perhaps, with the salmon that its skeleton now traps. If I stand here very still, and use an auditory knife to cleanse this carcass of unwanted flesh, I am left with the harsh death rattle of the wind as it scrapes past sinewed rope, and…

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