Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 328


my fugitive self shuffles over periwinkle beads of discarded shell
beneath stretched clouds of cotton threads, a cathedral naves a soul-lifting lustre

scuttling oyster catchers sand potter, long beaks reaching, sweetness searching
gulls scream a gallantry as kittiwakes guard languishing rock pools
of lamenting weed, hiding scurrilous crustaceans

bobbing fishing boats flake paint of oak-beam memories
as a foghorn voice of sea haar swells a sea-monster’s armour

bedrock of my hometown, bequeathed to me by forbearers
of mills and railway tracks, cobblers and fisher folk, spinners and strugglers

I have judged you harshly, absconded in my youth, from your safe havens
and I realise that I have run from this, covered myself in my brigandine
while this shanty soundtrack has played within me

Irene Watson

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