A foam of tiny jellyfish lie as dead eggs
on Kildonan’s sand. Swollen tender blue eyes.
Time has taken our memories for dreams and
clawed them all away, into the inconsolable
gulf. You sucked all the poison from the beach
so we could play. In breaths like silent minims
you beat the sea’s song, beat the day’s long sand drift
from sunup to sundown, now lost in haze and hard
days lived and forgotten. White lilacs lay on every
birthday and white lies blurred in empty cards.
The sun warms old whisky and day and hangover collide.
The loveless beach is unwalkable. Nothing rolls on the tide.
White shells turn in black sand like stars
sliding from the galaxy. Green hair drips in the grey
slime of the caves and the eagle has taken
a cat for a rabbit and clawed the pet away.
The knee’s glitter blows in streams like ash
from this stove and steam from this old meal.
Still light at midnight, a trudge to the Singing Sands
and a repentance of memory in dune, rock and pool.
But they are gone, and pictures cannot be made real.
Time cannot be counted - and time is what, time is who.
The sun sets and memories, dreams and sorrow elide.
Maybe in time, even loveless time can carry love on its tide.
Philip Miller is a writer, journalist, and poet based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His debut novel The Blue Horse came out in 2015. He has a forthcoming novel All The Galaxies (Freight Books, 2017). His poems have been published in journals in print and online. He would like to thank The Bothy Project’s Sweeney’s Bothy on Eigg, and Lucy Conway, host of Sweeney’s Bothy.
Photograph by isleofeigg, CC 2.0.