Orkney recalls Gunnie

Actor and writer Gerda Stevenson has written a collection of poems about Scottish Women, to be published next Spring by Luath Press. In the collection is a poem about Gunnie.

Gunnie photographed Gerda during the shooting of Margaret Tait’s 1992 film Blue Black Permanent. The poem is reproduced here by kind permission of the poet.



Orkney Recalls Gunnie

Gerda Stevenson

It was love at first sight, even though
I warned her with spindrift, then threw
the whole Beaufort Scale at her, lashed
those Viking cheekbones, thrashed
her wheatfield hair into mayhem
and stung her lazulite eyes
with ice pellets, rain and spray –
took her breath away –
but she only laughed and claimed
that every nook and granite cranny,
each sandstone cleft and salt wave,
all the sky and seascapes I can conjure in a day,
the totality of me, was her very element.

Her brightness won me every time –
beguiled me into the perfect light
for my geometry to shine. No-one
had seen me this way before,
from five hundred feet, her lens poised
at the pilot’s shoulder, coaxing me
to give my best side; or close up,
at our most intimate trysts,
when she roamed my shoreline geology,
finding the woman in me;
and I laid myself bare for her, always.


Gerda Stevenson 1992 on set of Blue Black Permanent. Gunnie Moberg









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