Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Everything here's impossibly old

and once you've seen one ruinous cottage

or roofless church, you're better off

breaking the spine of a book at the noust

than carrying on with the tour. It should

be said, though, that a crumbling broch

is far finer than abandoned brick-

n-mortar batteries, Brodgar boggles

the brain, and it must be something

else to see the solstice sun flicker

and ripple on the rear wall of Maeshowe—

but sure as this landmass drifted

from Orcadie, it'll all wind up

in the sea. Five millenia back,

the waves that buss the buttressed seawall

at Skara Brae were half a mile of dunes

away. The Old Man of Hoy's a peedie boy

compared with what’s crumpled about him.

Across Scapa Flow, the Flotta flare

burns all roofless day without blinking.

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