Mull to Ulva
Because the distance from land-shore to island
is a fingersnap in the constant of all time.
Because the tides bless fishermen and landlocked alike, full creels
the harvest here, no watery graves, no heartsong, no tears.
Because the store displays bait and boat, strong needles
for sewing the lace of fishing line, not delicate woman-lace.
Because the sun burns with savage brightness, much
as the evening stars will burn unwatched and un-wished upon.
Because the ghosts of old souls and older relics own
the dark, with nary a mortal light upon any land, sea or shore.
Because here, no one interprets the thousand pin-pricks
composing a symphony in the eggy blackness of night.
Because the fragrance of this summer conjures
memory after memory of all pasts and futures.
Because there is no caretaker, no guardian to aid thin fog
search the inlet for branch or crevice with which to gain purchase—
I wish to walk barefoot on old stone, become one with the earth and sea,
learn their secrets, raise my arms to the stars. Palm to palm, our hearts.
(This poem was originally published in Down Anstruther Way)
About the Author: Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. Her chapbook “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) was published by FutureCycle Press. Her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” was published by Aldrich Press. “Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies” was just published by Cholla Needles Press. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).
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Image Credit: Peter Henry Emerson “Cantley: Wherries Waiting for the Turn of the Tide” Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program