Poetry by Jeff Green


The purposeful filly

by cricketjeff on June 29, 2010.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

The purposeful filly made light of the miles
And ate up the road for the Lord of the Isles

The King had decreed that the Lord must be tamed
And stripped of the crown that the upstart had claimed
His allies at court sent their warnings abroad
The pony and rider made straight for their lord

King James was determined to rule all his lands
And curb all the chieftains with blood on their hands
He sent word to Lindsay to make him a chart
For Lindsay was known as the Prince of his art

The purposeful filly drove on many miles
To carry her rider back home to the isles

A rutter was needed to safeguard each boat
That kept all the armies of Scotland afloat
The King would have peace and MacDonald would die
When ships knew the way to sail safely to Skye

Since time had begun on the far Western Coast
The Lord of the Isles had stood firm by his boast
That never would Easterners darken his wall
But now was the time for the chieftain to fall

The purposeful filly rode on through the night
To warn the MacDonald he needed to fight

King James took his fleet through the worst of the rips
Through the rocks and the tides that destroyed lesser ships
The armies of Scotland soon stood on the sand
Where once only locals had known how to land

The battles were bloody but mercifully short
The King and his men were too good at their sport
And Lindsay’s invention are famed to this day
His charts of the coast drove the rebels away

The purposeful filly still eats up the miles
Her ghost bearing news to the Lord of the Isles

Author notes

VERY loosely based on fact

King James V of Scotland commissioned Alexander Lindsay to chart the Western Isles so that he could assert his rule there. Lindsay’s techniques and markings formed the basis for charts of coastlines right up to modern times.