Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North

In a Hebridean cemetery

by Peter Godfrey

We are just stones,
somewhere between boulder and pebble
lodged on a mound of grass,
a twist of ewe’s wool on the rusting wire.

Some a slab blotched with black and yellow
or a wafered menhir split in a storm.
The marram grass has grown so high
some of us are hardly noticed.

Iris blades crowd in a ditch below
and on the white tràigh clear waves lap the sand.
Shadow of Husival across the kyle –
a wheatear rides the wind on sapphire sea.

We are the people of Scarp.
We hauled our boats up the shore,
fetched water at the well,
combed the beach for driftwood, and sang.

MacInnes, MacLennan and MacLeod
by runrig furrows and the purple hill
that rang with schoolhouse voices.
Our names kissed others’ lips before we went.