Photos by Candia Dixon-Stuart
You, the favourite bloom of St Moluag
(he who pipped Columba to Lismore’s shore)
who ranged Rosemarkie’s red promontory,
seeking his personal white martyrdom.
At your petals’ tip is a nectar drip:
a signal for the reapers to begin.
Once, you colonised Apollo’s fair lands,
but made fresh conquest from Elysium,
establishing yourself in this terrain;
settling in the Land of Picts, as Bog Star:
light in the darkness of Dalriada.
Your chalice-shaped flowers, honey-fragrant,
scent craggy coastlines, where soft haar descends.
You feistily commune with sharp night frosts.
Your subtle venation reminded saints
of Christ’s stripes, or of their green island home;
Moluag preferred your stamens
to the crowns of all those cremated kings
whose smoke ascended from The Hill of Fire.
Sun of Lismore in Alba; Shining One:
he was determined to take root, like you.
You were transplanted; he was translated.
You were pervasive as that white hot faith.
Until today, I’d never heard of you,
but now I seem to see you everywhere.