In Sutherland

by Ian McDonough

The North Westerly is a martyr
shrieking, broken on the wheel.

Years are tentacles of giant squid
grasping all we hold so dear to us.

In the scullery, a whistling tin kettle
pines for those carefree, tramping days.

Rain is necessary, near enough unbearable,
sleet the piss-stream of a minor demon.

Beach ozone perfumes the ancient of days:
our feet crush fallen empires built of shell.

We are each other’s keeper, no-one owns the land;
the gulf between the stars our only prison.