Heriot Toun in autumn

Words for Spring 2009



The Blue Boat

Tethered on the concrete slip,
Low tide in Ham Voe:
The burn below the high bank surges,
Rising over meshed boulders.

Boulders line the dinghy’s hull,
A rock weighs down the oars,
Four lines like a slack quatrain
Slope towards the shore.

I was impatient, eyes smarting
In the early sun.
Here the boat was resting, idle,
Angled on her black keel.

I cleared the rocks, untied
The ropes and dragged her
Lightly down, was off upon
The backwash to the sea.

A stolen boat! But Hamnafield
Was rust-red, shining.
The harbour seals said, “Join us,

Join us. Row into the morning.”

Alistair Peebles


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