Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
Sgrìobhadh ùr à Alba agus an Àird a Tuath

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Strome Ferry (No Ferry)

by Rody Gorman

On the return journey near Strome Ferry and the end
Of the line (the start for some), a voice calls out
This is a Request Stop as a couple go to alight
With their sticks and belongings. On Platform One
The conductor waits and I think of Charon
Carrying them in his wherry across the Acheron.

I’ve lost my place in MacNeice’s I Crossed the Minch
As we inch through a blind tunnel underground
And there’s my reflection again. In next to no time
The deer will be down from over the hill
Behind Lochcarron and appear all over Wester Ross.
The old man opposite has had his last piece.

Looking back, a young boy, facing me on the other side
With his new toys and ephodion, cries out
Bye bye now, No Ferry! Bye bye!
See ya later!
I forget now we’re in the quiet
No-noise compartment and can’t communicate
Except via MacBook and text and MySpace.

The long passageway’s emptied up there.
On the further shore and the horizon, Lochalsh,
Skye, the Cuillin, then the Sound of Sleat and home.
Another halt or two and that’s us in Kyle.
It’s high water, the narrows are gunwale-full
Of sunken skerries, old buoys and fleets.

The Board and Editor of Northwords Now acknowledge support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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