Handa Island

July daisies squashed beneath our bellies

Grasping at tufts of thift pink,

We steady ourselves and peer down

Onto the Manhattan of the bird world

And through binoculars we wink

At pufflings edging out of brownstone tenements,

Guillemots in tuxedos soaring to their penthouses,

While nesting fulmars seem grateful for a ledge to call their own.

Bunnets aff to the bonxies before they take aff our heids!

Pieces of speckled blue enclosed in my mitten,

The stink of guano diffused by steaming chai

I learn that Lewisian gneiss is a solid slab of rock to climb

But choose to leave the sandstone stacks to the flock

Of small Hebridean dinosaurs.


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