Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 223: Claggain Bay, Islay

Claggain Bay: Islay

The pebbled beach is boulder-strewn, the sea
blue-green, Argyll a smudge upon the sky;
few sounds: some screaming mother terns, maybe
a lowing cow, the breeze, a buzzard’s cry:
the dramatis personae of the scene
that hold me in their thrall. The stones are dry,
the tide will polish them to jewelled sheen.
I click the shutter then I wonder why
I violate this wholeness with my snaps
when it’s already fixed in my mind’s eye.
Why not just sit here, like the stones perhaps?
I lay the camera down and down I lie.

A hare appears; a black cloud passes;
air stirs the golden seed heads of the grasses.


Tom Sommerville

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