Ulbha

ULBHA

Ulbha is a small island just of the coast of the Isle of Mull, Scotland. It is accepted that Ulva derives from two Old Norse words, ulfr meaning “wolf”, and ey meaning “island”. Ulva is rendered as ULBHA ( pronounced as OOL-a VA ) in Gaelic. It has a long and fascinating history. It bears witness to the one of the most tragic episodes of Scotlands story, the clearances.

Today,
Ulbha is tame enough.
The Isle of Wolves
has no claws
this May afternoon.

This land
is sleeping now, wrapped
in gorse-calm air, 
safe beneath a blue 
bounty of sky.

We rest
on the road to Gometra,
watching Loch-a-tuath
unfold to release
a memory of gulls.

We have
escaped for a while,
letting this place 
share it’s blanket
of time and history.

But yet,
we are not fooled.
The soil beneath us
is as hard as any
and bears it’s scars.

We are
all wounded, in our
own way. Today
Ulbha hides nothing.
Before us, the bare bones
of Abos, Culinish, Bearnus…    

Derek Ross  
                                                                                                                                 Gometra = Godman’s Isle                                                                                Loch-a tuath = North Loch 
Abos / Culinish / Bearnus = remains of cleared settlements.

By photos,poetry and haiku by Derek Ross

I am a photographer/ poet from Dumfries in South West Scotland. I concentrate on minimalist images and prefer using an iPhone these days. As far as my writing is concerned, I usually write short poems (some in Scots dialect), hence my interest in haiku and related forms.

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