Johnson says nothing growing on Coll is taller than a table. There were verticals other than windmills to interrupt the horizons, such as Sam, mounted on a sheltie – a wild pony they catch on the moor, with a straw halter.

a short-legged horse
in the hazy spring

Buson, trans. Hass

there’s Sam riding
his wee sheltie
in the hoary fall

after Buson

the horse goes
we lead it

after Freud

In the evening the yachts in the harbor looked like so many shelties, grazing in the gloaming.

look all at the shelties
noses pointed
towards home

Meanwhile the ease of our cycling in sunshine on these little-used roads with their gentle inclines has us daydreaming Le Tour de Coll: Zen and the Art of Freewheel Bicycling, an annual international open, whose luminaries include

Eddie “The Ghost” Maclean,
Jimmy “The Shadow” Maclean,
Brian “Free Church” Maclean,
Hector “The Sliced Cucumber” Maclean,
Stewie “The Noiseless Fury” Maclean,
Willie “Fog” Maclean,
Sandie “Wisp” Maclean,
Tam “Tortoise” Maclean,
Archie “Corncrake” Maclean,
Alastair “Mackerel” Maclean,
Iain “Smirry” Maclean,
Dugald “Scalch” Maclean,
Donald “Slow Puncture” Maclean,
Allan “The Pretender” Maclean,
Hugh “Dragonfly” Maclean,
Rorie “Shimmer” Maclean,
Malcolm “The Trout” Maclean,
Charlie “Wandering” Maclean
and Fergus “Sheltie” Maclean.


Hass, Robert, The Essential Haiku (1994)
Freud, Sigmund, ***