Last view of the island

Islands

Last view of the island

 

The ferry banks, only five minutes out

beyond the stone corral of harbour wall

and into the channel, the broad crescent

of its wake painting plumes across the

glass of the ocean, engines humming a

rhythmless vibrato. Smoke funnels skywards.

Cars hunch like crated eggs on the lower deck.

Over the tannoy, our cheery captain announces

a bottlenose pod, surfing in the bow-waves.

My eyes lock over the stern, watching as

those grey mountains begin to melt on

the horizon, taking a lifetime to disappear.

 

 

first published in Red River Review, 2018

 

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Errands

Errands

 

Errands

 

When things were good and I still believed in us,

even the mundane obligations sang like whales,

and taking the wiry road down the hamstrings

of the island to its full-stop, on those bastard mornings,

a single cassette on the stereo to numb the losses,

always made unquestioned sense. Sometimes in

light hushed with pearls, sometimes with the blade

of the wind knifing clear to the marrow, I’d time each

arrival against the tide, sifting it for treasure, perform

the errands, light the fires. Then return to you, the road

now huddled into a spool of knees and elbows, the

mountain a tight wedge tripping over its own steps before

falling like a tantrum into the kettle-grey ocean below.

 

first published in San Pedro River Review, Spring 2017

Rusted plough at Guirdil, Isle of Rum

JadeTheyPlough

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