On Shetland in December

The Spirit of the Wind is not silent. It is dark, deep-furred, it growls in the night and tramps about this tower in the ocean, stirring up the depths.

The elbow of the storm holds this place in an illusion of safety; and it holds me: I’m tiny, light as snow bunting – I hide from hungry snow mouths who bend on their many necks around me.

I listen to the voices of wind, hollow and now thrusting, then to the voices of my cells as I turn to face the wall in my bunk; I know the arm of cloud sweeping over the black sea is drawing a violet haze to haunt the dusk.

I sleep long hours and dream of a large-breasted bird, and of being born on a serpent through an arch, riding it with my companions. I know it will carry me safely through my life.



Being called to place. The place which calls. Waiting for the spirit of this work to show itself to me. I walk towards Horse Island over dark rocks smelling of iron. Something black moves on the soot-dark rocks near the incoming sea.  Seal spirit. I remember the white seal pup with the mark of man about it’s neck. I feel the traces of her. Across the rabbit-hollowed turf  the ghosts of terns in feather cairns and limpet shells; dark pools of peat-rimmed sky watch the clouds descend. I wear violet across the faded green.  I remember my dream of waiting for my Father. Others were waiting too. Many men came through the opening. Then he came to meet me, fatherly, broad, warm, kind; he was the one I’d recognise, and I did.

Tern fishing


I sit on cold straw-coloured grass beside the blue-black sea. Night comes. Water horse white and sleek around a corner of my awareness. Salt-scented air, clean.

Sunspiritpenetratesribs_watercolour_21x30_2017  Babyhorse_watercolour_21x30_2017


I will collect the contents of the bird’s stomach, wash it in rain, make a necklace of it. Fish bones from far away carried in a bird’s body through sky.


Infant. Tear. Egg. Watercolour. Kate Walters 2017    Infant Bird KW 2017 small file 1

Girl with Finger cords around herself KW 2017 small file