A tune

In June 2011 I visited an uninhabited island in Orkney called Swona with a group of artists. We stayed for three days camping in a derelict farmhouse. There were several houses nearby and this particular dwelling was left as though the occupants had just got up to leave for a hour or so. Furniture and belongings exactly as they left them. This is one of my stories of things I found.


I am remembering the house again. The sea. Voices, cracked, whispered, dusting the table top. Motes of stories, floating, raining layer upon layer upon layer. Drawings of ships on the mantel, sailing north to the place of iron black rock. An accordion hangs, breath less. The bones of reeds, poking, knitting together the songs of a summer spent laughing, and tumbling and falling in the buttercups, their yellow staining your skin.

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