Carol Ann

Pictish Place 
(in the style of John Masefield)    

I must go back to the hills again,

The heather’d hills and sky;

Where wild wind blows, rain stings the face

And clouds go scudding by.


Where wee burns carve through dirt and rocks

And peat bogs trap the unwary;

Keep to the hills, follow ancient tracks

of deer and man to safety.


Carved stones with fishes, disc and bar,

The broken arrow and boar;

Each stone a symbol of marriage and power

They mark a boundary and more.


And on a hill, stands the fiercest of all,

Guarding the royal domain;

A Pictish warrior with sharpened teeth

And an axe at the ready to maim.


Don’t mess with us, the message is clear

A warrior king rules this land;

Travellers are welcome to sup our wine

But enemies fear our hand.


Above it all, stands Tap o’Noth

A magnet to the eye;

With legends of magicians and hurling rocks;

A belligerent giant in the sky.


Now ‘tis more than a thousand years,

How quickly time has flown;

Carved stones still stand as sentinels but

Their symbols are weathered and worn.


Lonely graves lie beneath sand and dirt

Flat stones mark a last resting place;

Dark lines in the earth and a few paltry remains;

Vague remnants of the Pictish race.


I must go back to the hills again,

The heather’d hills and sky;

Where the wild wind blows, rain stings the face

And life goes scudding by.


About the Author

Carol Ann has lived in the foothills of the Grampian Mountains for the last 25 years and after 34 years in the IT industry has ‘retired’ to indulge her passions for travel, writing and photography. These travels have provided an abundant supply of source material for her writing and she is particularly interested in exploring the links between sacred landscapes, their legends and underlying geology.

As a member of Huntly Writers, Carol has been involved in various poetry readings and performances and contributed to both the Weaving Words and Open With Care anthologies. Carol has self-published three books. Two are for children and based on the adventures of a gnome called Rifka; the third, a spiritual travel book called ‘Dances with Dragons in Mongolia’.  More details can be found on her website: