Architecture-Design · John Maher · National-poetry-day · Outer Hebrides · photography · poetry · Writing


National Poetry Day 2016 – The following poem is one of a series inspired by John Maher’s incredibly powerful ‘Nobody’s Home’ exhibition held recently in Glasgow, of abandoned crofts in the Outer Hebrides. He can be found at

John kindly gave me permission to use the image which inspired the poem below.



Corncrakes rasp

in tall June grass,

hidden from view

like the inside of this house.


Secrets wrapped

behind faded curtains,

remembering days

when the fire blazed

and peat smoke choked the house,

while the kettle hummed to a crescendo

paint curled on a yellow range.


Stone pillars stand guard,

support crew for the rusty gate,

natures elements weld it shut for good.

Blood red for danger within,

warning Incomers


Keep Out.


Letterbox whispers news

of regeneration,


Architects from Glasgow

with charts and plans

and mainland dreams.


A meteorite shower of ideas

falling from the night sky

into these old stones,

breathing new life.


Susan Irvine

with thanks to John Maher at

and Architecture & Design Scotland






2 thoughts on “‘Gateway’

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