Manuel W Balaguer-Cortés


At Kinnordy,
the loch is old and her memory intact:
She remembers her former dominion
where she spread out, large and long,
in wetlands and water courses.
She remembers how far then
she could feel
the taste of lime and clay,
the running water chattering with stones,
the scent of slow decay,
the smooth, and papery touch of moonlit birches.

A long time,
before men waged war against her
with their tools – dead limbs –
grown deep inside their stony skulls
and through their twig-like hands.

They drank her out of her beloved land,
stealing rock and soil she had slowly grown
to quicken their own growing.

Men, a long time.
Now they walk where water was,
build their houses on dry swamps
and farm the skeletons of fens, but
the loch is old and her memory intact:
She dreams about her former dominion
so with silting fingers in a flowing hand
every year she takes back a little
in remembrance of her land.

Hailing from Zaragoza in Northeast Spain, Manuel W Balaguer-Cortés has been living in Scotland for the last 21 years. His writing meanders around the world of nature and that of sacred myth, and it is informed by pagan polytheist spirituality. He also plays European traditional music on a number of weird woodwind instruments. His work has appeared in various venues, including Littoral Magazine, The Dawntreader, The Mythic Circle and Eternal Haunted Summer. He was shortlisted for the 2015 Poetic Republic Poetry Competition.

Author’s Backstory: The wooded wetlands of Kinnordy, in North-East Scotland, are a favorite haunt of mine. This rich landscape of mire and dry land, of water and trees, is sustained by the old loch at its heart. During the Scottish age of improvement, substantial parts of loch and swamp were drained to claim land for farming and materials for building. That claimed land is but a footnote in the history books, few people currently walking the carefully designed paths in the area are even aware of this fact. But the loch, I suspect, does remember pretty well and might have plans of her own…

Editor’s Notes/Image Credit: Kinnordy, a hamlet and estate lying 2 miles (3 km) northwest of Kirriemuir in Angus, Kinnordy was known as the birthplace of geologist Sir Charles Lyell (1797 – 1875). The Loch of Kinnordy Nature Reserve [] lies to the southwest.

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One Response to Kinnordy

  1. John Baumgartner says:

    Wendy, although I lack the sense of rhythm and syntax to immerse in most poetry properly, I love the inclusion of the audio with a proper reading of the poem and the thought contained in it. Keep the Emails coming.

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