r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: August 2010

St Kilda 28-8-1930

for David MacFadyen and Peter Mackay

The last post boat
Has cleared Village Bay,
All smoking away
As the peat fires burn
And they'll burn your eyes
If you stay long enough

And the family Bible
(Only in Gaelic,
Preserved for generations as in aspic
In a cleat) they know by heart
They've all gone -
MacKinnon, Gillies, MacLeod -

And left by the hearth
In every house, open -
Gun tèid iad a-mach às an tìr;
Gach mac a bheirear;
Where on earth else, for crying out loud? -
At the start of Exodus.'

Rody Gorman



Men prefer an island
With its beginning ended:
Undertone of waves
Trees overbended.

Men prefer a road
Circling, shell-like
Convex and fossiled
Forever winding inward.

Men prefer a woman
Limpid in a sunlight
Held as a shell
On a sheltering island . . .

Men prefer an island.

But I am a mainland
O I range
From upper country to the inner core:
From sageland, brushland, marshland
To the sea's floor.

Show me an orchard where I have not slept,
A hollow where I have not wrapped
The sage about me, and above, the still
Stars clustering
Over the ponderosa pine, the cactus hill.

Tell me a time,
I have not loved,
A mountain left unclimbed:
A prarie field
Where I have not furrowed my tongue,
Nourished it out of the mind's dark places;
Planted with tears unwept
And harvested as friends, as faces.

O find me a dead-end road
I have not trodden
A logging road that leads the heart away
Into the secret evergreen of cedar roots
Beyond the sun's farthest ray—
Then, in a clearing's sudden dazzle,
There is no road; no end; no puzzle.

But do not show me! For I know
The country I caress:
A place where none shall trespass
None possess:
A mainland mastered
From its inaccess.


Men prefer an island.

Dorothy Livesay