Joan Buchan Stephen Black


Pat Murray recently sent this to me, for inclusion on the website.


In September of 1975, I sailed round the Cape of Good Hope on a ship bound for a new life in Australia. My mother, Joan, had always dreamed of experiencing such a voyage, but never did and so, enjoyed it vicariously. She wrote and sent me this poem which I’d like to share with the family.



                                  Round the Cape



With other eyes I see my vision,

With other feet I stand on rock,

With other ears I hear the pounding

Of turbulent oceans run amok.


Writhe, green wave, and topple over;

Lift me up and plunge me down.

Scream, grey wind of gaping sockets,

Trail your vibrant, tattered gown.


Peaceful waters, nurse me gently,

Sing the dolphins’ song of love.

Croon, light wind, of ghostly tresses,

Of life beneath, and blue above.


With other eyes I saw my vision,

With other feet I stood on rock,

With other ears I heard the pounding

Of turbulent oceans run amok.

                                                Joan Buchan Stephen Black, September, 1975


Here is another of her poems:

                                    Memories of Skye.


Through the sad hills                                 See on the moorland

Past a slash of white marble                      The shy purple orchis

Round the grey gleaming water                  Queen of wild flowers

Then wind down the hill                             In the thin green grasses

To the brown timeless burn                        Sough through the moorland

Forever and ever                                        Westerly wind

Tumbling down to the sea                           Breathing their perfume to me


Sun on the water                                        See images coloured

Grey cloud on the Cuillin                            In rainbows of fancy

Black rock and white marble                       See herons in flight

Grey cloud and black Cuillin                        Hear seabirds wild echo

Sunset floating on water                             Receding – remotely-

Westerly wind                                             Remember – remember-

Whispering a magical croon                         Bring peace back to me


This was written in1976 and sent to me in one of her regular letters to me in Australia. She wrote, ‘Doddy likes it’.  I think Doddy was already in Skye.  Love to all, Pat

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