Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 313

The Sound of Sollas

I'm calling you from Sollas,
where the winds are
walking us hard, and the sands'
tide-calming expanse laughs
at all purpose and pace.

The sun's broken through
- to this birthplace
of your grandfather; a visiting
sky lends exotic blues
and greens to the sea.

Not of a mind to return,
to see childhood summers
overgrown, the machair's
memories not your own, old
haunts inhabited, ruins now built
upon, you have stayed

away some sixty years.
So I'm calling you from Sollas,
a mobile to my ear, to bring you
the waves just in - as they break
around the sound of me.

The winds are shooing shadows
across the bay, swift to deny them
the time of day, the faintest signal
could get blown; they're breaking up
the syntax of my thinking, buffeting

my intention. But it's ringing out
now: seconds stand
to connect you to here,
restore the downed line
to then. I pick up the click,

make my own voice
out back home:
"Sorry we can't come to the phone...";
and the great curling surf comes washing in
- inexorable as the tone.

Mora Maclean

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