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
They say it doesn’t rain here much, often, but
when it does, canopies of merciless cloud snuff out
every last square of the sky, hanging about the fields
like a quarrel, forgotten without ever being resolved,
and empty themselves in angled swipes that paste
both barley and nettles to the red earth, bleeding into
the leather boots and loafers of commuters on trains,
who steam coolly in their seats all the way into Waverley.
first published in Southlight Magazine, 2017
An apology to Andrew Ford
As things stand, he is the bole of this unsteady tree,
the backmost reaching into the frail chain of records,
through the sporadic diggings of our research, and
I picture him taking the days of journey north from Devon,
by the old Roman road, possibly driving one of the carts
or wains he’d made, loaded with what could not be left,
bound for a place he’d only heard of, yet believed held
all the answers. This place, that kicked the light out of me
from the moment I could stand. Then every moment after.
The one I couldn’t wait to flee. Now the insistent hands of
autumn tear at the leaves, and the bough is close to breaking,
I have no way to tell him what I’ve failed to do, how sorry I am.
first published in Forage, 2017