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Alasdair Maclean

Alasdair Maclean is the author of two collections of poetry, From the Wilderness and Waking the Dead. He is now finishing an account of a crofting township, tentatively called Night falls on Ardnamurchan.

Poem: ‘A Marxist visits Lewis’

Alasdair Maclean, 21 January 1982

Here they live and are themselves for there is nothing else to be; it is a land for gentlemen.

They do not speak here of the beauty all around them, being labouring class and used to burdens. And the years come and go, dragging their feet in true Lewis fashion.

I may leave tomorrow. All day counting seagulls, then back to the hotel: lotus and potatoes yet again!

You could not start a revolution...

Poem: ‘Aftermath’

Alasdair Maclean, 17 September 1981

That last summer a small stand of bracken leaped from the hillside into our pasture, clearing a four-foot cattle-proof sheep-proof fence. Father cast on the intruder a cold country eye. ‘Not on my bloody ground!’ he said. ‘I’ve seen the autumn land round here blaze with that stuff.’ Crofter and magician both, he passed his hand over the weed....

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