Innisidgen

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There are two chambers by the sea
reminding the walker of something he had forgotten,
as knee deep in bracken he emerges into the clearing,
drawn by the lure of the sand and the heaving of a sea
that will cover everything,
as a counterpane covers the dead.

Before, he was in love with the white sand,
loving its warmth between his fingers.
Now it is the coldness of stone his fingers trace,
as he crawls inside for his bed.

Now he would enter the hall of his fathers,
even if it was to find himself an outcast.

Now he would exclude all light,
lay down under the bone hill,
listen to the swell of the sea
and the singing of his children.

There are two chambers by the sea.
between Bar Point and Pelistry.
In grassy circles I walk round
and clutch the treasure I have found.

Innisidgen by the sea,
burial chamber not for me.

Not for me this hall of stone,
cold as iron, cold as bone,

I have found a tiger shell,
I have found a lemon shell,

I have heard the soft sea swell
under Innisidgen.

[Innisidgen: two Bronze Age burial chambers, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly]

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