Alex Harford Photography & Travel


Stolen: A Poem
Inspired by a Waterfall

At the time this was probably the most beautiful place I'd visited on Earth - and nearly 10 years later it's still up there with the best.

Steall Falls, Glen Nevis, in 2004Steall Falls bathed in sunlight in verdant green landscape. Photo by Alex Harford


I would not envisage this in a dreamy delusion -
it is not a hazy-hallucination!
Confirmed by sun shining from blue skies
beautifully blemished by white-wisps;
it's a paradise I'd never imagined.

Serene sound;
Sprinkling, splashing, dousing, washing -
nourishing water hushing like silk over stone,
traversing without care, for it is free!
A smell so cool and fresh, cup your hands
and taste its innocence.

Air, water, flower and stone in harmony create perfection.
The Garden of Eden's far-richer relation -
flourishes of heathers and trees and grass,
Shangri-La's European cousin, but this one is real -
a green utopia of untouched elation.

If I wasn't below the clouds,
I'd believe this was heaven.

To see the skies angered,
overcome by grey,
to see this gentle brute
escape its boundaries and power!
Rains fall – thunderstorm!
Water bounds like petrol bombs,
coarse crashing irrigations
against a rocky facia floods the plain!

The falls have stolen my heart;
My heart can stay.

Steall Falls in 2004Steall Falls in background with large rock and person in foreground

Inspired, But No Pen!

This poem nearly didn’t happen. It was hot. The sky was a brilliant blue, the ground a verdant green. I was overwhelmed and inspired, but I didn't have a pen! The day passed with more sightseeing, then back to the tent to cook, eat and sleep. The potential poem was forgotten about for a few more days until one late afternoon at home a few days later, when I suddenly had the urge to write the poem I hadn’t been able to write on the day.

It all came out in a few minutes, and I think it's the first proper poem I ever wrote, excluding anything I did at school. Up until Stolen, I’d only written a few lyrics, and conversed in Haiku over e-mail at work for a laugh. There are definitely a few lines I’d change if I edited it (e.g. “petrol bombs”), but hopefully it's not too bad.

Steall Falls from belowLooking up Steall Falls from below

P.S. These photos weren’t taken with enough megapixels to be available for anything but small prints. Photography wasn’t even a hobby in those days and photos were just a record of where I’d been. Perhaps that’s why I was inspired to capture the waterfall in words...

I edited Stolen in 2020.


Back to top ↑

Related Amazon stuff

The Photographer's Eye bookCanon Powershot G7 X MARK II

Most Popular

Copşa Mică: Europe's Most Polluted Town

Remains of the Carbosin factory in Copsa Mica
"Dezastru," the only other person on the platform at Copşa Mică's train station said to me...(Abandoned - photo article)

Azores: Best Photography Spots by Island

Flores Island's most famous waterfalls at sunset
The Azores has a wealth of breathtakingly beautiful scenery. If you only have a short time on an island, these are the photo spots I recommend(Portugal - photo article)

Inside the Derelict Old St Giles' and St George's School, Newcastle, Staffs.

Graffiti and paint peeling inside the old St Giles' and St George's school building
Photos inside the (now demolished) old school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, plus history and memories from former pupils(Abandoned - photo article)

Inside Abandoned Semi-Detached Houses in Cheshire

Old comfy chairs and TV left in living room
A pair of houses, one apparently left at Christmas, but don't always believe what you see...(Abandoned - photo article)

29 Photos of Amazing Places in The Outer Hebrides (My Highlights)

A backwards S for Scarista Beach, Isle of Harris and Lewis
I was blown away by the Outer Hebrides - incredible beaches, mountains, historical buildings and galleries(Scotland - photo article)

Mailing List

Two randomly selected subscribers will get a FREE print (UK only). Maximum 1 e-mail a month sent. Details not shared with anyone. Separate from my writer mailing list.

Powered by MailChimp on Facebook:

  Like this page:

Unless otherwise stated, design and content ©2003-2023 Alex Harford. All rights reserved isn't it.

If you're referring to content on, you can use one image from on another website under the following conditions: an active link to the page the image is taken from is placed alongside the image, the image is not resized, cropped or in any way edited, the image is not hotlinked. Otherwise anything on this site is not to be reproduced elsewhere without my permission. Many photos are available to license. Thanks. :-)

Photos: Home Travel Music Abandoned Animal Fantasy Buy Prints About/Contact

Writer: Writer Home