Highlands – Teresa Vanairsdale

Three aging white horses –
apparitions in a field – running
before a ruined castle, bleak
northwestern coast of Scotland,
manes flapping like tired pages.
Sandstone castle altered blood-red
by weather, a ruddy warrior standing
near brave old paths by the sea.

And always the sea comes back, tidal
waves of mortal sadness, lapping
at remains of crofters and clearances,
it climbs far up tawny beaches
where heather begins and enduring
braided foundations linger, testament
to hellish years of hard sustenance.
Voices still now, I hear their lives
again singing in the wind,
the measures of their wills.


I received my bachelor’s in English/Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. I tend to incorporate the natural outdoor world into my writing, sometimes attributing human qualities or voices to it. When I start a poem, I don’t know exactly where it will go and I don’t want to know, somewhat akin to taking an unplanned route on a walk. My work has or will appear in Northwest Boulevard, Camas, RiverLit, Clockhouse, Yeah Write Review, Stringtown, The MacGuffin, and Knockout.

One thought on “Highlands – Teresa Vanairsdale

  1. I like this one a lot, Teresa. I can picture the place as I read your describtive poem. Want to go see the place. Thanks for sharing.


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