Rusted plough at Guirdil, Isle of Rum


Illustration used by kind permission of Jade They

Rusted plough at Guirdil, Isle of Rum


Once it would’ve arrived here, painted and new,

either landed from a friendly sea by boat,

or else shouldered over those rocky tracks by ponies,

and assembled from its pieces into a monster.


It must’ve seemed like the work of both

the Devil and the Lord in cahoots, the way it

knifed through the spongy turves, turning green into black,

burying centuries of broken backs in an afternoon.


Now it lies ridiculous, against the emptied house,

below the cliffs chopped roughly into silent hillsides.

Only goats feed here now, chewing, box-eyed,

on kelp stranded up and down the shoreline.

first published in Firewords Quarterly, Issue 6, 2016