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St Kilda


Sleepless seagulls fleer under floodlights,

they are caught like souls in light as in a net,

thoroughly winging their ways

around and through a day-dreamt freedom.


In a practice leap from love you stand

nowhere-they-can-find-me, bare feet in sand,

imagining a perfect loneliness, the soul a

self-stolen ship, breathing around the coast,


horizon-close, or sliding into darknesses

too vast for you to manage, depths too deep;

and then you want a cage of light, a finite hug


to swing you back to shore. The tidy beach,

a sliver of world, blinks its toy lighthouse,

something cries, 'come home, come home'.





Stripped to the soul, squatting at the shoreline,

thoughts prey like sharks but never bite,

no voice inside your skull sounds right.

O listen to the tiny waves crash their hardest,


as a lap-dog yaps its loudest to be loud.

Pitched past pitch of grief: how far is that?

Easy as tides, the tears ride out, words are water,    

sorrows are wide as the long silk sea.


Nor be consoled nor fear. Let down your tangle

of worries, wash them in salt as wounds

love to be washed. Say you are the furthest-


out fool, lost beyond losing. Sing, and sing,

but stay where you are and wait to be found,

sleeplessly smiling (at grief!) in the floodlight.                  




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