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The Hare's Nest

This poem, by Flòraidh NicPhàil, was read out by SLD's President Dr Margaret Mackay on the occasion of Chris Robinson's retirement. It is reproduced here by kind permission of the author and her publishers Acair Books.

The Hare's Nest

I placed my hand
In a hare's nest yesterday
He sped off
But in that spot in the marram grass
Where he had crouched,
Ear to shoulder,
He left a warmth.

Sixty years have passed
Since I last did this
As I was taught
By the fine carpenter,
Our good neighbour Johnny, Charles's son,
He in his old age
So pleased to be
Opening the eyes of a little girl
To the beauty of the machair.

He gave me such awareness
Of primroses and daisies,
Of how to grasp the nettle;
Of the otter's, – the black beast's – paws
And how they left tracks
On the white sandy shore;
Of birds' nests;
And hares' nests
Which retain their warmth still.

Chris Robinson presentation
Presentation to Chris Robinson
Chris Robinson with 'Brown Hare'
Chris Robinson with 'Brown Hare'