Leonie Charlton, New Poetry

HOGMANAY IN TOMINTOUL

Snowing hard in Aviemore when you met the train

me getting warm on the bench-seat of a Land Rover.

You liking my jumper, all I remember a storm of colour

pulled-over kisses on a blizzardy bend, your Mum and Dad,

their hearts bright in a dark house – her sense of humour

on-target like yours, that slow-roast wild goose

like nothing I’d tasted before, or since.

I remember a lot of sex, drams, dancing

I remember snow-drifts, trees bending under white weight.

One morning branches let go of snow, sprang up,

your phone rang, I saw you slip felt you go.

Put myself on the Edinburgh train, full of the cold

(feistiness I now admire in my younger self)

not waiting for you to come back

from the phone-call outpost

where you blurred

while I burned.

Trains and east coast consonants, 

Caledonian pines, wild geese, you            the past

all still get to me when heavy snow’s forecast.

LOCH ETIVE

I remember the bad stuff

but today it’s sun

and seal breath,

green hairstreak butterflies

mind-blowing on gorse.

About the contributor

Leonie Charlton lives in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. She writes poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Her first full length book, ‘Marram’ - a travel memoir compassing her journey with Highland ponies through the Outer Hebrides - will be published by Sandstone Press in March 2020. www.leoniecharlton.co.uk

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