Remembering an island(After Robin Fulton)
In thirsty summers, out of the River Coquet
came a tiny island of pebbles, glass and pottery
as if out of a sunken age, the drained bottles
of the dead were raised to the living in a toast.
Somewhere, but I haven’t a clue where myself,
my birth certificate lies stashed among old bills,
as proof that I lived and paid, like those who left
their hangovers on this river island of pebbles.
In the guest book, a hand that used a biro
like a seismograph’s shuddering pen –
At 92 this maybe my last, but it was magical.
At breakfast I meet an interesting man,
it’s his job to date the remains of crannogs,
he prides himself on his accuracy.
I tell him that I also work in dates and traces
but unlike him I try to show that we never
left the island, and were not marooned.
Richie McCaffery is working on a PhD in Scottish Literature, looking at the Scottish poets of World War Two. He is the author of two poetry pamphlets, Spinning Plates (HappenStance Press, 2012) and Ballast Flint (Cromarty Arts Trust, 2013). His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Dark Horse, Stand, The Rialto and The Best British Poetry 2012. @RichieMcCaffery