Kailyard is a scottish word for a small walled kitchen garden used for growing vegetables.
Friend and writer Rebecca Sharp’s poem ‘Thaney’ has been selected for the Stanza’s poetry map of Scotland. Click on the link to read it. It came about from a painting I made about the scottish story of Thenaw, a princess, pregnant out of wedlock who was thrown from Traprain Law, but survived to give birth to a son who would become St Mungo.
It is a beautiful poem and I am so chuffed it made the collection.
Ravens, waterfalls, Schiehallion, rock, beetles, lochs, slow worm, bracken, hare bells, Buachaille Etive Mor, and cherry bakewell tarts.
Early morning and the wind is in the east , blowing silken grey clouds over the fields. I sit in a patch of foot high daisies looking west to the wood. Yellowhammer, skylark, coal tit, reed bunting, corn bunting, goldfinch, swallow, all around me. The dew from last night, cool against my legs. A tractor away to the north. Just the day starting itself, it seems unsure of what it might do today. I draw. This is drawing as seen, walking and drawing what is there.
Warm granite boulders erupting the skin of peat radiate heat . Bog. Pulling pushing, sucking through to find higher ground. Weathered, stripped bark of trees rise in the lee of hill. A sheep fank, a frog, where nettles fill the space inside the empty houses. Rocks tumble, fall into the sea, forming islands . A bouldery, wet, boggy place, where once upon a time, before, a township – families cleared from other settlements were moved here by landlords . It was finally abandoned in the 1930’s. This is walking and drawing as memory, a story, a map, as a way of naming the lost places.
Bay of the stranger, bay of the churches, bay of the promise, its gaelic meaning disputed. In this small place a chambered cairn, a standing stone and a township cleared in 1828 to make way for a sheep farm. Willow and alder flank the edges of the burn. Sheep folds, kail yards. The walls of houses, their corners rounded, give way to thresholds marking the comings and goings of families. Not gone away.