THE CEILIDH HOUSE
The peat fire crackles and burns with stories:
footsteps scurry through mist and mountain
to warm a Hebridean hearth with stories.
A figure crosses turf where St Columba
knelt long ago beside the Snizort:
the crofter’s creel is laden with stories.
He pauses to watch the snow-stars drifting
on the loch, with its kelp and pebbles:
hares in the lazy-bed leap with stories.
The crofter enters his neighbour’s parlour,
rests on the settle while divots smoulder:
a plaintive skirl fills the room with stories.
Shadows dance round the doleful piper,
whose music makes the embers tremble:
the single oil lamp flickers with stories.
A mother stirs her three-legged cauldron:
sisters spin, or weave at the handloom,
infusing a homemade plaid with stories.
Hailstone tears pound the snow-flecked Cuillin,
recalling the Clearances, emigration:
the Ceilidh House overflows with stories.
© Caroline Gill 2013
1] By the winter fires (ed. Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2009)
2] The Holy Place (poems by John Dotson and Caroline Gill, published by Peter Thabit Jones of The Seventh Quarry Press in Swansea, in conjunction with Stanley H. Barkan of Cross-Cultural Communications in New York, 2012)
Caroline Gill’s poetry chapbook, The Holy Place, co-authored with John Dotson from California, was published in 2012 by The Seventh Quarry Press (ed. Peter Thabit Jones) in Swansea, in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications (ed. Stanley H. Barkan) in New York. The Holy Place was launched at Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, birth place of Dylan Thomas. Three of Caroline’s poems have been included in The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms by Lewis Putnam Turco, 4th edition, (University Press of New England, 2012). Caroline won first prize in the international Petra Kenney Poetry Competition (general section) in 2008. She was awarded the title of Best Fixed Form Poet of 2011 by the international poetry journal from India, Metverse Muse (ed. Dr. H. Tulsi). Caroline is an external collaborator for the Romanian journal, Orizont Literar Contemporan (editor-in-chief, Daniel Dragomirescu). Caroline’s poems have appeared in publications from the UK, USA, Romania and India. Her poem, ‘Preseli Blue’, featured on the BBC Poetry Please programme in 2008 from the Guardian Hay Festival. Caroline’s tercet ghazal, ‘Migrant Hawker’, has been selected for inclusion in Heart Shoots (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2013), in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Work by Maya Angelou, John Betjeman, Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas will feature in this anthology.
Caroline has a blog and a website.