There is a cliff


There is a cliff,

Beyond the end of my “No Exit” road,

Up onto the trail,

Through the Cathedral  Woods.

There is a cliff,

Left, onto the side trail,

Carefully up the steep ridge,

Past the big, moss-covered rocks.

Stranded here thousands of years ago,

They’re luminous now in the softening light.



There is a cliff,

Coming into view now through the trees,

And my steps are quicker

As I think of you,

Your heart soaring,

As, once more, you saw the place that gave you joy,

That set you free for precious moments,

From unbearable pain.



There is a cliff,

Where you stood alone and looked out

Beyond this little bay called Hope,

Far across the wider waters

To a distant horizon.

I see you,

Homemade easel and new canvas under one arm,

Paints and brushes in a tin box in your other hand.

You close your eyes,

And in a moment of exquisite relief,

Head up, raised to the sky as if in prayer,

You take a deep breath of fresh, free air.

Your eyes open now, I see you bow your head,

Aware you can’t stay here forever,

Or fly away – not yet.


There is a cliff:

This is where you used to stand.

“I see through my tears,”

You said many times,

But no one came to wipe them away.


There is a cliff.

I knew I would find you.

Here, take my hand,

And we will stand here together,

Becoming more luminous in the darkness

As we wait on the edge.

6 thoughts on “There is a cliff

    • No. The poem is inspired by Wilma Butchart, an elderly woman I met when I first moved to Hope Ness in 1979. She was a remarkable woman born and raised in the community. She suffered much unhappiness in her life, but retained a strong spirit. That lookout was her special place, the place she went for spiritual consolation. She is my muse, you might say. The poem is also about being spiritually free when the time comes, and being united finally with the spirit of everyone we loved in life.

      Liked by 1 person

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