Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 276: Stromness

Beachcombing, Stromness
 
A lighthouse beam swings over the shore,
takes account of the mess. Another
seafarer wrung
by plastic around its neck. I count feathers
 
on its spackled breast and imagine each
feather’s another body taken
from desert to sea. The ones ejected
from cities they were born in, and the ones
 
with gunpowder in their veins,
and the ones who asked for mercy and
didn’t ask for mercy.
I count in my numbing head
 
Thomas Minogue
 

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