Sunday, 31 August 2008

Poem: Men of Lewis

Written in a Stornoway cemetery, at the memorial to my great uncle, lost at sea.

The sea got them alright
the sea gobbled them up
and did not let go.
The sea left widows and orphans
to rage in their dispair
"there shall be no more sea!"
their men would walk to Judgement.

Still boys told their mothers:
"I will go myself to sea,
to make of me a man -
twenty days the blue horizon
and ports of other lands.
From Shanghai to Den Helder,
San Francisco, La Rochelle,
the grey wave and the white wave..."

Those restless men of Lewis -
I read their simple graves.

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