Shawbost by Katharine Macfarlane

Katharine Macfarlane’s lyrical poetry is rooted in the history and landscape of the west of Scotland. She is currently the Harpies, Fechters and Quines Slam Champion and the Four Cities Slam Champion 2016. Katharine has recently performed with the Loud Poets in Glasgow and at the Belladrum Festival in Inverness, and hosted her first solo show, Home Words, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her work has appeared in Untitled, The Grind, and The Write Angle.




Give me the soft white sands and tiny shells of home,

Arms, like an anchor around me.

And the sound of children playing in rock pools

At my back.

If you will not give me that;

Give me a howling gale.

The kind that shrieks

And screams in your ears

That frightens birds

And flattens trees.

Let me meet it:

Teeth on.

Let it lift these flimsy thoughts from my mind,

Tear asunder these feeble dreams

And take me, from this scree-clad hillside

Across the mighty, heaving, grey-green ocean

Through rain that comes at you sideways

And stings and slashes the skin

Until I am back,

Once more, in Shawbost

Standing on that grassy cliff top

Beside the hole in the sea

With its awesome, pounding roar

That takes hold of your ears and your heart

And, like love,

Fills you with fear and draws you close.

Katharine can be reached via her Facebook page, Home Words. More of her work can be found here.