WILD NATURE POETRY AWARD competition now open.

Andy Allan is a native of Strathspey in Scotland and currently lives beside Culbin Forest, near Forres, on the Moray Firth. His outlook on life reflects his highland upbringing. He draws inspiration from Celtic myth, the landscape, the natural world and life and in general.


The Highland landscape and wildlife feature in a significant number of his poems, which have been widely published in magazines, anthologies and

on-line. He has also been a prize-winner in a number of competitions. Andy has read on local-radio, at numerous festivals and other venues.


A highlight appearance was reading at ‘Celtic Connections’ in Glasgow in 2015.


His pamphlet collection, “Breath of Dragons,” was published by award-winning specialist poetry publishers Indigo Dreams in 2015.


Although no Doric poems feature in his new collection, Andy is also a prize-winner and a published writer in the Doric of Strathspey.

His website can be found at:



Cover artwork by Ronnie Goodyer




138 x 216mm


76 pages


£9.99 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-95-4


PUB: 23/11/2018










Within the Slide of Wind


Andy Allan



‘Within the Slide of Wind’ features aspects of Scotland’s highland landscape and its environment. The natural and the supernatural loom large in this new collection, touching on the lives and legends of those who have lived in that landscape in the past, those who have walked the hills, the shores and the wildwood before us.




* * * * *

"Andy Allan’s poems are living, breathing meditations on nature, landscape and seascape. His is an authentic, intuitive voice celebrating the history, mountains, glens, rivers, and wildlife of his native Scotland. There is light and shade, strength and fragility as seasons turn . . . as we too are imbued with his sense of belonging."  

Eileen Carney Hulme


"Andy Allan is a poet who makes a real connection to

the Scottish landscape. His subjects are not simply bit players, but central to the places, real and imagined, he takes us as readers. I can almost hear his footsteps

in the mist."    

Charlie Gracie

NorthWords Now


"Andy Allan is a dab hand with an expert verb, and often a beautifully turned noun. You do not need many adjectives when you can write like this:Anticipation whistles on the wind,the freshness of excitement’s edge."

Helena Nelson

Editor - Happenstance Press

Within the Slide of Wind


Birches lift and swell in swirling

flutters as the trees sing,

their voices like wave-dragged shingle,

shush, shush, in the constant rush of air.

A grey-white blanket hides the sun,

obscures the high blue heavens,

as I walk this slick and empty road,

in the aftermath of rain.


Soft light flickers on drops  of liquid

silver, flashing, dripping, dangling,

glittering like jewels.

Air slips through bouncing boughs to

set rustling yellow leaves a-dancing.

Chittering chaffinches chase through

fragmented thought, cavort in shoals,

dart into tossing tree-shadow.


Like magic they reappear, slipping

through bowed wires, swooping

over grim grey buildings,

skating on glossy slate.

Breathing deep my spirits soar,

invigorated on this wild dreich day,

this glorious singing cold wet land,

this place where I belong.



Learning from You

for Dad


From as far back as I can remember,

you listened with patience to my quick

words, as we laughed and played together.

So many times across the years you’d

draw from me some ill-thought stance

then make some comment,

leave me to absorb and ponder.

You never told me I was wrong

nor laughed at youth’s delusions,

you never told me I was right.

You set in motion trains of thought

that helped me grow, fed false argument,

tested me with nonsense, raised my ire.


Reluctance grew to accept your words

or any words unscreened by thought,

I see that now. You forced me to ask

the question, Why? taught me to

analyse the motives of others,

to balance actions and outcomes.

I learned to consider all points-of-view,

not to jump to easy judgements, that

the majority are not always right.

I began to distrust the press, to see through

the lies peddled for vested interests and

to question motives, especially my own.

From you I began to glean tolerance,

I learned empathy without knowing it.

You lent me life’s map. You sowed the seeds.


Shadows of Belonging


Dark skerries glisten on the world’s edge,

delight surging through white spume.

Overhead, a gull soars with your endless laughter,

sailing with me through long, blue yesterdays.

In rising winds and ocean agitation,

huge breakers pound on silver sands where

shifting shingle rattles in a churning rush,

retreating hush . . . before they crash once more.


In dunes, where gale-tugged grasses flail,

my mind drifts under scudding clouds,

shifts through lonely shafts of sunlight.

Memories gather, hovering at my shoulder

as I taste again your sea-salt-breath.

On a stiffening breeze I see your dissolving

footprints scrawled on wind-whipped sand.


Clouds race with wind-shadows,

biting sand-storms scour the empty beach,

unable to erase our shared past.

We will always belong in this place

immersed in its isolation,

rooted to this rugged shore.





A stark silhouette

stamped on sky’s deep blue.

Eyes absorb stars,

emerging, fading, pulsing

beyond knowledge,

tiny white seeds spinning,

scattered on indigo

floating in the void.


Hair-shadows flutter

in night’s cool breath,

slipping misty whispers

of white noise thrumming

through the universe.

Tingling chord-sequences

shiver on neck-hairs,

seeding a silent smile.



The Tolbooth, Forres


Puddled reflections, flashes of green,

red and amber pierce black-velvet,

wash the night with gaudy brightness.

Funnelling through wynds and closes,

wind-songs whisper of days gone by.

No horses clop on cobble stones,

no hawkers haunt this High Street.

Only name-shadows evoke the toun’s past,

Hangman’s Well, Castle Hill, Bogton.


Enduring, the Tolbooth stands

rooted in this place, a symbol

of continuity and permanence.

The stocky building towers, dark,

staunch, immovable in driving rain.

Bastion against time’s slow passage,

brooding in the town’s living heart,

remembering the glory-days.

Ill-used through the gloom of years,

claimed at last by those who care.



WtSoM No9 9781910834954