The Old Way
It is not where I lead, it is where you follow,
these paths seem to say.
Not me talking, but the wind
I bend in sympathy with,
like that holly, like that oak,
hoping this route has a place
in mind to end;
fork in the path being the same
as choice in the heart.
Paths in unkempt places that wend,
leading to lose the wanderer,
playing games with the
back of beyond,
(or back of Baluff,
as the Angus saying went).
Drove road and saint’s way,
trodden contours so convoluted
you’d think it would have driven
the man or woman who made them mad.
Waysides verdant because of beasts’
manure they brought this way,
transhumance being the land’s
lost heart beat,
resting places bookmarked
by stone crosses where pilgrims chanted.
These intersections in heather hardly
to be traced in the modern age,
from the illicit still to evasive paths
unknown to excise men.