A Better Place
(for St Kilda)
To them that winged, and legged and gutted,
and salted for the winter; all the world
was yolked around the Fulmar and the Gannet.
Spinny weaved and woven farthings
sing louder than the sea, of Sunday blessings,
as they watch the sky fill with crosses
of the winter closing in. Then only waves
of the mournful ocean, unbroken in imagination,
as the fiddle's reel, and the comfort of the fire
to await the tapping beak of spring.
Grinding bones for barley and the corn,
liver lighted lamps to ward the mice
they held around the bible's reign. They knew
themselves not chosen. For bold men fall
for reaching beyond what hand may grasp.
Until the last: until the last when they saw
the high cliffs depart the spray.