Northwords Now Issue 38

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Night Walk, Baile Mòr

by Sharon Black

Tonight, the burning line of gorse
on the southern tip of Mull is an ancient blade   
carving up the darkness. Along the coastline,
the electric lamps of Fionnophort
blaze quietly in their small neat squares.

The Sound rolls up the concrete jetty, our feet
just inches from its silver
and I think about those five young men
one mid-December, boat capsizing
as they travelled home from celebration:
all but one, drowned. We turn

and walk between the hotel and cottages,
the schoolhouse and the heritage centre –
jazz is drifting from the chapel:
a young lad at a piano belting tunes
to empty pews, oblivious

to the faces at the window out of sight –
head bowed, hands jigging, chords and riffs floating
through walls of granite, gneiss
and leaded panes
to lose themselves forever in the night.