cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaeliccàrn (plural cairn). Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present.

I’m walking the mountains in low cloud,

the mist descends. I can’t see beyond doubt.

All the senses that I started with,

have too long ad libbed.


I can barely see further than my next step,

finding it hard to remember,

what steps I felt before I left.

I can just make out a dark shape,

this big figure with a shadow of a cape.


It begins to emerge from the gloom,

the first thing I’ve seen,

my messenger of good news.

I get closer and closer and it rises and rises.


This stern figure, that keeps on climbing

and it’s such a relief not to be alone,

except for this big pile of stones.

Happy to have reached it.

I have reached it at last.


It is my watcher, my guardian,

custodian of unmarked paths.

When the mist rolled through,

and the snow fell my way,

it tells me I am not lost.

Nor alone.

And that many others have passed this way.


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