Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 56: Rackwick, Orkney

for John Bremner

Cradled between rose cliff, churning sea and vast open sky
Our valley dreamed away the centuries, brimming with hope and honey.
Crofter wrestled wave and wind, wrought bere-stalk and a living;
Lobster tangled with creel, dying for the giving.
Sea and land riches fed our bones well - forever, I thought.

I grew. I left. I died.
Now: here, a roof fallen,
There, another resurrected for the new tranquillity-seeker.

Croft and fish forsaken; still stone and curlew linger,
And Craa-nest, grey-green, melts into its hill,
A museum-jar of our lives, for the curious wanderer
And the odd homesick ghost.

Sue Mara

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