I thought to see the salmon leap
too young to know the river was wrong,
that it ran into a loch. I sat, watching,
for several hours till dusk rested its hand
on my shoulder, saying:
Go home laddie, it’s time to leave this place.
As I did the wind grew, chasing
itself towards the west coast and the sea
where salmon gathered, brushing
aside a rowan tree, bending it
to its will as if asking Who is master here?
As I made my way down the glen,
beside the peaty burn, hob-nailed boots
clattering from damp rock to tufted grass,
my mind wandered to thoughts of Holmes,
in gathering gloom, picking his way
across the Grimpen Mire in pursuit
of a painted dog. I slipped, stumbled
and fell, not once but many times as I,
torchless and disappointed, made my way home.