Return of the Erne

by Yvonne Gray

You are ancient bones
drawn into the light
from a stonelined tomb.

You are golden shafts
that beam from the eyrie
above the Rackwick Burn.

You are the eye
that pierces walls and windows
in recurring dreams.

You are byre doors
that clap wide
and swing in the gale.

You are a ship
that tosses on currents of air
breasting the blue in full sail.

You are hooked grapnels
that swing the salmon
from sea to sky.

You are a circling skater
talons welded
to your mirror image.

You are the storm
that blasts on vast wings
across the Cuilags’ tundra.

You are the shadow
whose passing turns
the blue hare to stone.

You are a monument
on the faultline of grey crags
fledged in water and light.

You are the call
that echoes from ancient places
through paths and ways to come.

glossary
Erne:  the local name for the whitetailed seaeagle
(haliaeetus albicilla) in Orkney and Shetland.