Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 4,997 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Portree: In Memorian, Iain Crichton Smith - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

The joy has gone from the glass. The ceildih's darkened.
The pitiless threadbare rain's thin sheets fall round
The harbour boats where shattered stars are floating,
Dropped from their Highland heaven.
Dropped and drowned.

The sea is ice, the waves a restless wreckage.
Over the rocks the rending ocean pours
Like a sundered hull. White winter stalks the Cuillin.
Storm has emptied the street, has shut the doors.

The harbour boats are huddled, one sail slapping,
One sail flapping, in biting rain and foam
As if it heard the final anchor snapping,
And a great soul rising, taking the sea-road home.

It seemed his poems had lived in my head forever
Like wonderful birds let loose on the the moors to fly.
I'd thought the Lewisman's flow of words would never
Suddenly stop, like a mountain stream run dry –
Suddenly stop, like a reel when the music's ended,
A lily with no more petals to unfold.
Flesh flits, like mist with the browning bracken blended,
Only his tales remain, to be told and told.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 7, 2010



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