High waters from each end of the straits
meet here in whirlpools, in vortices
of current and spume – that at their highest
cover the island, which weathers each maelstrom,
and flood its improbable cottages.


A little inland along a banked lane,
lambing ewes are in a field. There are
a dozen or so, some birthing, some with young.
We look over the bank, startle a ewe,
intrigue her offspring. Mother moves off,
child follows. The grass is cropped, springy.
The recent storms have felled an oak that lightning
had blackened and eviscerated years ago.
Waters rush through culverts beneath the lane.


The tides ebb. On the island, no one now
uses the fish traps the drowned cottages
were built for. Codlings, dogfish, sea bass
swim freely, oblivious of chance.




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