Over Scotland

I love poetry. I used to write much more poetry than I presently do. I feel bad about that. Consider this part one in rectifying this. This poem was written gazing out from an airplane window while flying over Scotland in 1989. It was finished in 1991, the next time I was in Scotland.

High flying, window glass reveals tattered floor-

Pristine heaven greets eyes open to curving planet yonder

Stretching, reaching, sky-borne, we soar.

Place of kings bringing wonder to hearts that wonder.

Stipple green, ground richly steeped in lush, purple hue-

Woven pattern of road-cut scenes moves closer,

Sky meets peripheral sky, horizon’s hazy blue.

Shadows run as daylight comes.

Well-fermented scenes from ancient dreams-

Walls of stone, hearts of flesh, eyes of steel,

Pageantry in motion, all is as it seems.

Like God in man, surreal kisses real.

Robert Rife © 1991

3 thoughts on “Over Scotland

  1. Rob, I have just now revisited your site … and see how much I have been missing! I would like to keep updated, and I see there is now a ‘box’ below which will provide for this. Yeeeeahhh!

    I feel that I have some audacity in ‘counting myself in’ to your learned pages … as much as I know you well enough to know you would not wish me to feel that way.

    The thing is, Rob, that I AM of a similar pursuasion as yourself, if in a different package. Merton, Nouwen and all. Also my own placement of myself at the crossroads of faith, art and ideas. Perhaps we do have a basis for me to join along?

    The other thing is .. Rob, I can learn from you … and you wouldnt deny me that – would you 🙂

    Have spent the past five years, held in my faith by Benedictine practice, and little else. Been Carer-plus … and can now come back to focus on myself and the care of my own needs. Much mutual benefit gained thankfully .. over this past time … yet, now I need to care for my own mind and pathway forward.

    Sooooooooo … I reconnect with my cherished resources … open to adding new ones … and trusting that your site may be one of those.

    I have bravely set out with the beginnings of a new website: http://www.thecountingtree – if you would like to visit, it would be good. Poetry we have in come, a willingness to be independent and a little different we have in come, and writing. My next five year plan will include study (Formation for Spiritual Director) and more writing – God willing.

    This week I am going to ‘sit’ with your site .. and really enjoy absorbing it well.

    Thank you for making this site all it is … and, I am sure, will become.


  2. Judith, I’m absolutely delighted that you’ve found something of meaning from my mindless, rambling pontifications mired in overweening verbocity and self-congratulation! I, like you, have been a ship sailing wildly upon the open water these past years. Having left the relative comfort but restrictive paradigms of conservative evangelicalism I have, at times, felt a little unmoored in whatever might pass as safe harbor. As such, I have been discovering a God so much bigger than our measly categories can conceive, let alone articulate.

    I actually enjoy my faith these days! God is no longer a riddle to be solved as a mystery to be lived…



    1. Thank you Rob – oh multi-layered one. Now I may embarrass you – yet, have to say,that, for me, your unstintingly extreme self-awareness, simply serves to provide you with the most marvellous diatribes, and excursions into vocabulary that one could hope for!!

      Rob, I feel your good heart, sense your sensitive soul, see your questing and capable mind and have to admire your courage in casting off-shore from conservative evangelicalism!!

      Yes, you are right, I am a similar traveller … for many, many moons, more than I can easily recall … having thrown off the shackles of very conservative working-class background .. and I have, like you, sailed the wildly open water over many years. With only my own developing sense as a compass.

      Having come to a place in recent years, of living the mystery … as you so well coin it. It IS in the living that there is joy.

      Discovered a new usage of the word joy .. the other day .. where it becomes a verb, such as “I joy at the bloom which blesses with it’s scent – hours afterwards”. (My sentence. It is a Manley-Hopkins usage.) Do you like it? Wonder what other nouns of a similar ilk could be converted with powerful effect?

      I have read/re-read your poetry ‘Over Scotland’ – with enjoyment. I find it is rich in imagery, and captures well the sights as one flies over and then into Scotland. It has an economy in its expression, considering the scope of the work, i.e. history, geography, colour, atmosphere, changing effects and so on.
      It’s fairly relaxed, though condensed and widesweeping description are, in themselves, much like the sensation of flight. The last four lines do ‘steady’ down the piece, for ‘a landing’ … and work very well in giving concrete thought forms and conclusionary comments.

      For me, the whole work is highly satisfying and leaves one with a great sensation of freedom and height and finishes with a solid basis on which to further think.

      Glad you posted it …. pleasure to read.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s