Scored with a Moon
(Knowe Of Skea, Westray)
A house on the shore to lodge what is dumb:
a her or a him fills this vessel of stone.
We mortared the roof, planed the way in,
welcomed no-eye, no-hoof, no-skin.
We leave and return. Our words scuffle the air.
What’s within remains calm or not there.
Here is a bird scratched on a bone,
a comb scored with a moon, a stick for a loom.
The tide drags the sea up, then down.
Nothing is uttered or born.
At Havey Grid
the slap-wire swings.
Mud smears chert implements.
Fields dips where people lived.
The wind’s small rain fractures to lozenges.
Trackside, the ditch runs deep.
A swan rests her neck on folded wings.
This is what I bring.
A clos, a box-bed and six steps.
Under my feet this stone loom
is fissure-warped, the weft is sea.
Stress lines sing stars and sky.
The creeping cloth is all of me.
Havey Grid: a rock formation
slap: a makeshift fence
clos: the narrow passage between dwelling and byre
Lydia Harris lives in Westray, one of Orkney's North Isles. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2017, and Maquette Press published her second pamphlet 'An Unbolted Door' in 2018. She leads the Westray Writers who meet monthly in her home, and she hosts the Westray Poetry Library on a shelf in her porch. Visit her website at homeabout.co.uk.