There's a full moon in a pale sky. 6 pm is 6 in the morning with streets full of birdsong. Occasional rush-hour cars pass unhurriedly. Driving somewhere? Or just driving. A pavement door slides open for business. One ten-scarce-items-or-less laden woman shuffles out, counting her children. I am permitted to fill a young man's footsteps … Continue reading strange shoppers
Words fall like autumn leaves. A low dying storm, pressured harbinger of winter, irrevocably sucks them from my lips. Golden on my tongue, they tumble in many evanescent colours. Flutters of purple prose scarcely tinge the air as they drop. Zestful orange phrases, deprived of sunlight, wilt untouched. Yellowed poems drift with the breeze like … Continue reading one last poem
A carrion crow on a chimney pot sings the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. It's a high soprano rendition and a bit croaky, but instantly recognisable. I continue humming until I forget how it goes. The crow has already flown off.
I wake as a cat. And stretch out a leg of flexing paw, uncurled claw. There is no one here to see me rise. Save the sun. I circle once, twice and settle back. I bask in an easy arc. Warmth envelopes me. Breathes. Soft. Through fur and sinew. I turn to face the sun. … Continue reading morning
part 1: the need for a rocking chair In Kilnman Cottage, Pierowall a rather complicated metal-hinged rocking chair creaks loudly but rocks only slightly. It needs to be finessed into gear, maybe with a drop of oil. The chair is fine, sat by the fireside, for reading from a book of Westray tales. And to … Continue reading rocking chair
Moments flow faster than I can write them down. While the night-long conversations of lighthouses safely hush into a velvet-grey dawn, over South Ronaldsay low clouds gather and brim with fire. They seem to tell of an unearthly conflagration out in the North Sea, beyond the horizon, somewhere near Valhalla. And the clouds fleetingly present a … Continue reading dawn at Cantick Head Lighthouse
“It's a shame they're not all here anymore,” says the midnight photographer of Stenness. Perhaps if we count them, and keep coming back to count them, they'll start to return. But for now there are just the three giants. “Thirty seconds is all I need.” He needs us out of shot and our torches off. … Continue reading the midnight photographer of Stenness
“The time is seven-thirty,” grizzles the radio, “here is a news update.” The fridge whines, pipes gurgle and burp. A pot of basil wilts on the window sill. I pull up the blind to let sunlight in. A tap drips. The radio rambles on. Background tunes, jokes and chatter. I have to turn it off. … Continue reading after the cup final