poetry picture

£220.00 £120.00

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This piece faetures a poem written many years ago following a walk up a hill near Colintraive, on Argyll’s ‘Secret Coast’. Chris was driving home from a meeting on the island of Bute, after a stressful day. Winter was just being pushed back by early spring, and suddenly he wanted to be outside, so stopped the car and headed upwards. This ceramic framed picture was created for an exhibition which celebrated the ‘secret coast’, and includes the outline of a map of the coastline.

We are offering this picture at a discount, as we appreciate that many of you will not know the beautiful location that it refers to- after all, it is a ‘secret’!

Here is the poem

The road from Colintraive


With all the optimism of the early spring

I turned the car from the road home and looked to the hill

Taking the camera more for motivation I head for the high point over the Kyle.

I feel the old excitement in the smell of wild places

All around I can almost hear the soil coming alive

The whisper of the wind in the larches sounds like blood flowing

Sap rising


And, unconcerned as my unsuitable shoes take on water,

I climb through heather and the old years dry grass

Up through ancient Gneiss outcrops

Still holding the shape of their birth in lava poured out in days so distant

That there seems no point calculating.


My feet cut into slow growing mossbanks

And scatter the stalks of bracken

And in the moment, I fear that I bring a human rhythm,

In this place unwelcome, discordant

Drowning out the stillness

Oil on water


I notice blackened heather stalks swept by fire

Perhaps lit by a smouldering cigarette last summer

And remember that this place is everywhere marked by men

Close cropped by the sheep, the land curves towards

The regimented contour crop of Spruce trees in the valley below

And half hidden, there is the evidence of older dwelling places

Now memories in the soil

Barcodes in bracken and dead nettle

Feeding on the residual richness

Leached from these poor houses

Whose people drained away.


Then perspective shifts again

To the far horizons

Across the sparkling Kyle lies Bute

Then beyond, Arran’s hills rise above Lochranza

Still wearing winter white against the blue sky


I stood and gloried.

Awed by things much bigger than I

By creative forces far beyond my understanding

But by Gods grace

Not beyond my reach


Blessing received, I take photographs recording only human spectral light

Then scramble back to shiny car, and head, too fast, for home

Anxious to see my loved ones

Eager for my own slice of civilisation.


© Chris Goan