Document 1400

Catfirth willow

Author(s): James Hiddo Moncrieff

Copyright holder(s): James Hiddo Moncrieff


Willow root moves
Slipping against wet shale
And the crumbling moor
Seeking a grip on the bedrock
The exposed edge of the burn.

Moved by ice and snow
And bitter wind
Willow, torn from its shallow root
In the last of Winter's gales,
Laid on its side
To nest in the grass. Amongst the fern

New buds burst from the bark
And rise above the bluebells
The white narcissi
And the remnant green of daffodil
As the tired branch
Dips its face in the peaty spate and froth
Of a swirling pool
Tumbling to the sea.

The voices of children played
Long into the night

The new cut grass
Sniffed at the breeze
And the sycamore stirred

The ghost of a seagull passed
Cutting the sky
With its silence

Midnight and the horizon
Still glowed
Despite the black iron
Of the hills
Cast against the cold face
Of the moon
And my steps
Were hollow footprints
On the path from the gate.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Catfirth willow. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Catfirth willow." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Catfirth willow," accessed 25 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1400

Catfirth willow


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2005
Word count 163

Text medium

Magazine (e-zine)

Text publication details

Publication year 2005
Place of publication Shetland
Part of larger text
Contained in The New Shetlander
Editor Laureen Johnson and Brian Smith
Page numbers 20

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 972
Forenames James Hiddo
Surname Moncrieff
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment College
Age left school 19
Upbringing/religious beliefs Working class/Socialist
Occupation Retired
Place of birth Lerwick
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bigton
Region of residence Shetland
Residence CSD dialect area Sh
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Telegraphist
Father's place of birth Lerwick
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Loppersum
Mother's region of birth Groningen
Mother's country of birth Holland


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