Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 327

Davaar Cave – Mull of Kintyre

In this headland cave water drips on multi-marbled rock and here folk
have laid their crosses. Twists of kelp and twine and wood all washed up
on the drift of time. Here someone stretched and scrunched his bones.
Made a stone-bright image for those who trek between the causeway tides.

We’d come to watch the boats, hear the see-saw rasp of oystercatchers’ calls,
find a sleek of seals recline blue-black, sunbathe on a thrust of rocks
laid bare by the out-race of the sea. Asleep with one eye at the ready
for the curiosity of strangers.

Buried deep among the local flyers I had found the name Davaar. So like
the sound of that uniquely Hebrew word Dabar. The complex universal
let there be of biblical creation. An extra spur to see what we could see.

Not some discovery of ancient marks scratched on the endurance of stone.
No. This was recent art invading caverns, folds, the gouges of millennia.
My camera fought the half-light, tried to capture it in vivid pixilation.

How many secret trips it took to execute this crucifixion no-one will ever
know. But it exists as icon, talisman, the painter’s rainbow prayer.
A fare-ye-well at the yawn of the tide that spills folk out past the Mull
into the swell of the Irish Sea. A Fáilte to the homeward bound.

Anne Connolly

Note: In 1887 a local art teacher, Archibald Mckinnon, had a dream which inspired this work, kept secret for many years. Learn more: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argyll/davaar-island.shtml

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