Three poems by Tom Boston

The author recalls a trip, as a young man, to Kilravock Castle (pronounced Kilrock), Inverness, Scotland. The ancient home of the Roses or Rosses of Nairnshire who lived there in the 13th century. Famous visitors include Mary, Queen of Scots in 1562, Bonnie Prince Charlie (whom Sir Hugh Rose entertained with a violin rendition of an Italian minuet), the Duke of Cumberland (the day after the Prince’s visit just before the two men fought the Battle of Culloden) and also the poet Robert Burns (in 1787). 

Kilravock

Amongst the granite and green, on an Oak tree I leaned
to rest in the shade of its crown.
For that moment just then, I was Lord of this realm,
with these ruins of history renowned.
And in this ancient place, I tried to retrace
the footsteps of those from the past.
In that reticent wood, as a young man I stood
in search of the play’s ghostly cast.

But none there was seen, not the Prince or the Queen
nor the Laird named after the rose.
And the fierce men of war did battle no more.
No soldiers were railed against foes.
All the colours of fall seemed to recall
the clan tartans from seasons of lore.
The echoes of time and the ancient bells’ chime
saluted a world that’s no more.

Now, as I left this scene where legends have been,
I stole one more glance just to see,
if I only could glimpse that Queen or that Prince
or those few that fought to be free.
The Highland Sun teased its way through the leaves
and dappled the ground with its gold.
And the whispering trees with the voice of the breeze,
lamented the fallen of old.

Inspired by the painting ‘Napa Valley Ridge’ by the artist Wayne Thiebaud

Under the Milk-Soft Clouds

Under the drifting milk-soft clouds, blooms the perfect day,
with brooks, ravines and sun-touched streams, and beams of light at play.
The distant edge of purple spills downhill and turns to green,
as brightness herds the mist away from this seductive scene.
And wise tall trees in conference stand, their emerald crowns give shade
        to swathes of sheepish blossoms closed shy amongst the glade.
Then tickled by a breathy breeze of scented morning air,
the flowers reveal their artistry with colour-tainted flare.
And whispering wings of butterflies, exploring bounty sweet,
blend with the hum of honey bees in search of nectar’s treat.


Now, dark inked skies with stars for eyes, stare through the steely chill,
that spreads below the faint moon-glow, o’er lifelessness so still.
The far-flung edge of black rolls close, becoming granite grey
and darkness tainted shades of cold keep daylight far away.
Age-old trees in silent sway, roots running wide and deep,
hold firm against the icy blow that flows from mountains steep.
The butterflies and humming bees await the morning bloom,
as seas of coloured petals hide, shut in the nightly gloom.
A covenant with light is made; a promise of new day.
Expectantly, life waits to see tomorrow’s bright display.

Inspired by the magnificent ‘J-Class’ yacht race in the Solent – United Kingdom in 2011.

Running With the J’s

The wind-churned sea with leaps and peaks and lively twisting twirls,
moves to the fancy float and tune of a thousand dancing girls.
It spills and glints quicksilver-like and glimmers garnet green,
as the tips of tall trimmed sails appear in the distant hazy sheen.

Soon the mast is bearing down; keel slicing water through.
This mighty, splendid sailing boat holds to her course so true.
Tell-tails flying straight as dyes, she takes the centre-stage.
Her sleek hull lulls the wilding sea and dulls its noble rage.

As fabric flaps and halyards clap, she eases back from heeling.
She tacks her graceful bow away, with air from canvas peeling.
Sails spill the wind then fill again and shape like soaring wings
and through the surf she flows, she goes; her rigging loudly sings.

On the track of her new tack, she rides the raw emotion
of the frenzied, frothing, foaming sea, so graceful in her motion.
She charges, cutting up the waves and carves the ocean blue.
Through wind-blown swirls like dancing girls, a ‘J’ Class and her crew.

Introducing Tom Boston

BRIEF BIO

Tom Boston was born in Ireland and presently resides in the English Midlands. Poetry has been part of his life since being introduced to the works of Lord Byron by a friend. Tom began writing poetry as a means of channelling the frustration, passion and emotion of life into the written word. His works often ponder the inexplicable and seek the unobtainable.

FEATURE WRITE-UP

I was born in Ireland, the land of scholars and saints; steeped in language and literature.
My family moved to South America in 1974, when I was eight-year-old and so most of my childhood was spent in Brazil. This move was a real culture shock to me. The combination of a very different culture, a new language, alternative values, a sub-tropical climate, life under a military dictatorship, seemed to overwhelm my young senses. This was the beginning of the first great adventure of my life and would define the person I was to become.

Perhaps the lack of English speakers during my childhood in Brazil, kindled in me a passion for English literature and language. I read everything in English that I got my hands on. Then at about the age of fifteen, a fellow Irish man, whose family had also migrated to Brazil, introduced me to the works of George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. I was enthralled. I remember him reading to me the poems ‘Darkness, ‘The Destruction of Sennacherib’ and ‘The Vision Of Belshazzar’. Not your average fifteen-year-old’s choice of reading but it was English and it was fantastic.

My love of poetry had begun but other than a few lines here and there, I did not try my hand at writing until much further down my life’s path.

I eventually left the family home in South America and returned to the Ireland as a young adult in 1984.  It was on a visit to Kilravock Castle in Inverness, Scotland, that the second and indeed greatest adventure of my life began. I met my wife and soulmate and we were blessed with five wonderful children. Kilravock will always be dear to my heart. The imposing granite structures, the dense woodlands, the history, the ghosts of the past and the Celtic mysticism that rises from the land and flows mist-like over the valleys and glens of the Highlands. This landscape was to later inspire my poem ‘Kilravock’.

In 1985 I moved to Bristol, England to pursue studies in aerospace engineering. I qualified as an avionics engineer and began my career in the aerospace industry.

I inherited a passion for the sea from my mother who in turn inherited it from her mother. Ireland is not known for its sun-drenched beaches and palm trees but the northwest coast is known for its spectacular storms; the inspiration for ‘Sea Storm’.  I have had a few hobbies and interests throughout my life, some enduring but most transient. The love of the sea and boating however, has never waned. This passion gave rise to the favourite of my poems. Running With the J’s.

It was not until the outbreak of Covid 19 in 2020 that I tried my hand at poetry. The periods of national lockdowns gave me time to reflect on life and inspired me to write. My inspiration comes from life itself; my journey and experiences and the characters I have met along the way. My style can best be described as traditional, ranging from romantic works to poetic pessimism; the upbeat celebration of nature to the depths of the human despair. A journey we all share; the good and the bad. A journey we know as The Human Experience.             

We are back!

After several years Highland Poetry is back. We are a free platform to post poetry from around the world! We are hoping to get enough submissions to do a quarterly e-book eventually. Stay tuned. Our first post will be Tom Boston who is a poet from the UK. His work is truly inspirational.