Orkney Mash-Ups

On the seven-hour train ride home from my trip to Orkney and the Highlands, I fed the contents of my travel diary into Gnoetry, along with Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Orkney-centric collection of lyric poetry The Dancers Inherit The Party. Here are some of the results.

From where I sit,
at the end of the bay –
a great hunk of otherwise.

What are these little birds, oh girl of mine?
Art is a question of toast.

I see no sea,
the foam,
the swell
is there,
the great
scotch
one, two,
dobbin.

The hairs are on his toes! she says,
then he: they’d tie them up and glower.

Well…
oh dear, how your cold sad face
leans on the glass of necessity.

a lack of chain stores,
little hills, a wee scotch burn
and a simple girl

Meanwhile he is brown,
and I do not remember
all that I mumble.

All the boats in the fields as they settle.
All the drawings in your skin.

I remember what Engels said: freedom is the found among the rain.

Sometimes, all it takes to make a memory is to say – what a hill!
Sometimes, all it takes to make a memory is to wipe their wires.

This piece came to me:
a line, scribbled in her
dear and silly scrawl. I like it –
that’s why my heart settles in

its slow descent. Yes, it’s something
to have your skin.
Here and there’s a crooked stamp –
it means a kiss, and so it reads like this.

Am I
an awful man? This
cat’s on the

Finlay
trail, there’s violence
in the rain.

Art and
poetry are the
keys to the

town. You
and everyone is
beautiful.

A lot of the evening sun
goes down. A writer

writes his beautiful.
Then the old man grows

inside his ears.
We have to eat.

Quite by chance –
a thunderstorm
in Gaelic!

Orkney
interior:
a lack of

chain stores,
little hills, mist shops,
mist shops, mist

shops, mist shops,
mist shops, mist
shops, old and slow,

did buy
myself a kind of
pilgrimage.

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