At the Half-Way House, Balallan

When the moon waxes it makes a B, when the moon wanes it makes a D

and C is for Christina, her twin sister, and me in between

at the Half-Way House, Balallan

– parish of the lochs, a lord and the poachers,

the longest village in Scotland.

Long are the nights, and darker the days

when twin sister asks ‘do you believe in good and evil?’

                                                                                      Waxing and waning

peat flaking on the stove, me pouring the gin,

                   our waterproofs steaming from Todon moor

and C is for the Caledonia tape in the caravan.

‘Let me tell you that I love you’, we sing.

                             Half-way between Harris and Lewis

                        with black dogs and bibles on our knees.

     Sunday is already here,

when I reply ‘no, I believe in this’.

The village of Balallan (Gaelic: Baile Ailein) is a crofting township on the border of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, stretching 4 miles along the head of Loch Erisort. The Sabbath is strictly observed by many islanders. 



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