in a dip of screes it lies,
deceives the enthusiast;
defies the eagle’s hungry eye.
At hostile heights survives
thrives on insects, berries,
lives on shoots.
Silent as winter,
suited to season,
hard as arctic granite permafrost,
soft as the summer glow that scarcely sets
on Lairig Ghru.
It is a cairngorm miniature in scale;
a fractal algorithm of the whole,
self-similar with its terrain.
Among the Munros of the blue plateaux
who can know
whether this bird is made for the high lands
or these rough highlands
for the ptarmigan.
Copyright © Oonah V Joslin 2015
Oonah V Joslin is an Editor at www.everydaypoets.com, a writer of poetry and microfiction, she blogs at oovj.wordpress.com. She hails from Ulster but lives in Northumberland, just shy of the border.