for Blá Bheinn



Blue grey peaks speak across the ages

knowledge and wisdom of the sages

calling through all of my lives’ stages

for Blá Bheinn I know you so well.


Each fold of your coarse flowing mantle

your summit a mystical cantle

and presence to me so placental

for Blá Bheinn I knew you so well.


In your shadow Loch Slapin lies sleeping

her seaweed yellow-ochred and weeping

tranquil waters in your sight’s safe keeping

for Blá Bheinn you know me so well.


Aeons you have watched me unfolding

each lifetime a gentle cajoling

my lost soul not ever atoning

for Blá Bheinn you knew me so well.


Dun Ringill my home and my fortress

Na Torrain a garden so flawless

Uamh An Ard-Achaidh my bones lie in darkness

for Blá Bheinn you have known me well.


 Embrace in stillness the silence of time

 my lyre sings yet of that great love divine

with eagles my spirit was born to climb

for Blá Bheinn I know you so well.


To your shores I will keep returning

mighty winds your gabbro reforming

all eternity re-affirming

for Blá Bheinn you know me so well.


Painting, acrylic on canvas looking across Loch Slapin to Blá Bheinn.

For my husband, John, for whom this is his favourite view on the Isle of Skye.

Blá Bheinn is a magnificent Munro, 3,044ft in height, standing apart from the rest of the Cuillin Mountain range on Skye, off the west coast of Scotland.  It is composed of Gabbro, a course-grained, dark coloured igneous rock, which formed when molten magma was trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and then slowly cooled.

Cantle: the raised curved part at the back of a horse’s saddle.

Dun Ringill: meaning  Fort on the point of the ravine, is an Iron Age hill fort on the west shore of Loch Slapin, within the Strathaird peninsula, it’s original structure consistent with an Iron Age Broch dating to approximately the 1st years of the Common Era.

Na Torrain, ( English name Torrin ), is a crofting and fishing village lying on the eastern shore of Loch Slapin, on the road to Elgol. The village sits on Durness Limestone and there is an abundance of trees, varied plant flora, including more than a dozen species of orchid.  Other parts of the island are quite treeless.

Uamh An Ard-Achaidh , ( English meaning, Cave of the High Field ), is an excavation site near the settlement of Na Torrain, consisting of 320 metres of accessible passages.  The cave is entered via a natural shaft some 6 metres deep leading into the main cave, the story of the cave covering some 7,000 years, it’s use changing over the millennia.  It was firstly a shelter around 5,000 BC – 750 BC, then a place of sacredness and ritual approximately 750 BC – 100 AD.   Many artefacts  have been found there, including stone, bone, antler, and evidence of metalworking.

In 2012 a piece of carved wood was found, discovered later to be the bridge of a lyre.  Burnt and broken, it dates to approximately 300 BC  and is the earliest find of a stringed instrument in western Europe. This find connects the Celtic peoples in the 4th Century BC  at the height of their movements with those of southeastern Europe, where and when  lyres and similar instruments were widely in evidence.

 English name for Blá Bheinn: Blaven.  I tried searching for clues as to the pronounciation of Uamh An Ard-Achaidh but could not find any.  I shall leave that to your imaginations and it will add an air of mystery to the place for as the 1st line of the Tao Te Ching reads: “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”

Thank you for scrolling through all the above information and for your patience! I have finally succeeded in fulfilling what I meant to do when I started this Blog: posting a Duet of Painting and Poetry.  I cannot promise a painting every time as this one took quite a while to execute, but I have made a start and I have scattered my hopes and desires upon the ether…hopefully they will gently simmer and then materialize.

One last word…if you look to the left of the wee bit of land jutting into the centre of the foreground, surrounded by water and follow what look like little pools that lead you towards the mountain, you can see a tiny white crofter’s cottage.  That is where I dream of living!


23 thoughts on “for Blá Bheinn

  1. Goosebumps on my skin
    Do not know if it’s your words
    Or your fab painting! 🙂

    An impromptu senryu for you, just because you are so good with both words and pictures.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This means so much to me, thank you… I so value your thoughts and comments. So glad you enjoyed it, it is a place of great presence and sacredness… and will always be so. Since researching, other connections have come to light that make the hairs stand on the back of my neck. I have been here before… You honour me with your senryu… Now, not knowing what that is, I had better look it up ha ha! Take care 💟

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Krystyna –
    Both art and word are exquisite. You have amazing talent and to that no timetable exists. When one creates, they create in their own world and each world has its own clock and calendar. We on the outside of these worlds patiently wait for the artist to create again – and each effort is always completely worth the time, soul and heart investment

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your words have filled me with so much joy and hope and inspiration to pursue my painting, set up my desk in a wee corner, keep my paints, ink whatever out and not put them away… As I have had to do in the past… Not much space where I live for many extras and I will have to squeeze in beside the piano…but this time I am determined to paint/ draw/ whatever non stop all the time with the odd poem thrown in which I am also beginning to love…painting word pictures. I am humbled by your compliments and thank you from the bottom of my heart… means so much coming from an artist like yourself. Your work too is so vibrant and alive and I do so admire how you manage to find time to do it all… And all the family that you care for. Yes, when I create I am beyond any time zone…your words are very precious to me as this post is a very important milestone and I feel that you have sensed that a m. I cannot thank you enough…💟😀 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aaaaw thank you so for those encouraging words. They have struck home and I have taken them to heart. The 3 magic words are : don’t pressure yourself and I must remember that…again I thank you so much my friend for your wise words. Off to play organ…2 services, so was busy practising yesterday. I shall try and go with the flow and see how it all unfolds. Hope your week end going well. 😊


      2. Keep up the artist’s spirit and heart -both of which you have in spades, Krystyna.
        Enjoy the organ playing – I can here the melodic pipes in my mind all the way, over here in New York:)
        I’ll be taking some time off – going to post this eve. You take good care and I’ll be back soon:) Here’s to creativity and the time in which to do it:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You found a way to combine two strong strands in your talents, the poetic with the artistic. I like the minute, yet so significant variations in the last line of the stanzas. Thank you also for the glossary for us readers not familiar with ancient Scottish terms and name places! Congratulations for a masterpiece, Krystyna!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know what to say, Peter…thank you so so much for your compliment and I feel very humble when hearing the word “Masterpiece”! But it fills me with great joy as this is one post that is very special and close to my heart. Indeed there is a great outpouring of myself both in the painting and poem. The painting is very detailed and took quite some time as it is no small canvas. The poem reflects the affinity I feel I have with this place every time I visit it. Truly I feel I have been here before…it is very sacred and special for both myself and John. I am so glad you spotted the minute differences in the last stanzas for yes, they make a difference depending on word order. So pleased that you mention that…I thought I should include a glossary as some of the Gaelic language needs a wee bit of explaining. John my husband says I should now compose some Celtic music for it and it will be a Trio! You never know…although splitting myself between painting, poetry and piano is going to prove tricky. I will give it my best shot anyway…Your words give me great hope to continue along similar lines and hopefully won’t be too long before the next painting is finished. Once more my most grateful thanks. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw, Krysia, this is beautiful. The painting, the poem, the thoughts behind both, the history. They combine to create something so unique. Grace flows through the whole piece. I could weep. The mountain’s voice and colours are home. Your heart is in it and it’s tugging at mine.x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve got it spot on…there is much of my heart painted and written into both painting and poem. This is me…this is what I love doing and what I produce when I am truly “at home”. This place is special to both of us, but I feel I have a deeper affinity to it as if truly I have been here before…it is magical and mystical. It makes my heart sing to think that this magical connection has been shared with you and you felt it. It means that Art is living and vibrant and working out it’s purpose. This Blog is an important milestone for me and the sharing of it with you all means a lot…Thank you my friend! 💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s evident in your work, Krysia, how much you love the place. Strange, isn’t it, how some places can get under your skin.
        I wondered, when I saw your avi, if you climbed. Sounds as if you might. You’re certainly at one with the mountains.x

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, when I can I like to climb. My husband John, whom I met in 2008, introduced me to it and I have a few Munros under me belt! He has climbed the Cuillin and Glen Coe Ridges, to name a few. I am not obsessive about it though. Climbing in the Lake District is but a stone’s throw from here. Many more Munros to feel while I have the health and energy to do so! Thanks for your kind comments Anne Marie. x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I did Ben Vane a number of years ago and thought I was on route to heaven via I don’t know how many false summits. A very spiritual experience but emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting. Haven’t done one since! But I won’t forget the lessons learned in the climb. I’m seriously impressed you and your husband have climbed so many between you. Says a lot for your character.x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes…it is most grueling and takes some stamina but good to have had the experience. En route to heaven…it feels that way. I have not climbed Ben Vane and that one is close to us. I don’t know how long I will keep up the climbing now that I am 60…gulp! Thanks for your comment! Perhaps it will soon be time to switch to gentle hill walking…? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My, that’s magnificent! Didn’t know you were so talented with your hands as well, K! As inspirational as the place you describe is, your painting does justice to it. And your words show your deep attachment in equal measure. Take a bow, you ought to be proud of this. Preserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanking you SO so much. I will most definitely do so and so glad you like it, it really was my soul being posted out on WordPress. A special moment…cannot promise one every week…got my paints set up in a more accessible corner where I can work in peace now. You are one of my earliest followers…just had to share with you. It will soon be a year in March since I started all this and apart from a long break for gardening it has been positive and productive and very good for me. It gives me much joy to know that both painting and poem in unison are sending out intended messages across the ether-net…😊

      Liked by 1 person

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