Devon-born Mark O. Goodwin lived and worked in London before moving to Skye in 1994. He is co-author of the book Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich/The Two Sides of the Pass, with Maoilios Caimbeul: a bilingual Gaelic/English poetic conversation with drawings by Eòghann Mac Colla.
After the Wave
from the painting by Joan Eardley
There are no boats, and the rocks
and the pier are submerged.
There are no birds in the dim
greenish light of the sky –
they have flown beyond the clouds.
There is no-one gazing
at the horizon except ourselves –
giddy with the sight of the coiling,
curdling, brawling white wave
while the winter sun dissolves.
The spit and tug of a squall teases
and the reek and reach of a wind
chills through the frame. A glacial
gyre of north sea water threatens
all our senses,
obliterate the hinterland –
the ochre fired soil of the Mearns –
rich with the contradiction
of a hard life won from a fertile land.
Perhaps, when the weather relents,
and the tide recoils, we can step
back and pick up the driftwood
from the fragile shore of our moorings.