Seven Days at the Shore

POEMS:  Seven Days at the Shore


Jack Irvine

A stranger gave Jack Irvine fifteen quid

To take him to West Lingua.

Slow daybreak on their breath,

The two men sailed in silence,

Leaving flickering Whalsay for Lingua’s dark shore.

Jack was glad for the cash;

But he’d seen this man’s look in other men,

And guessed he was a suicide.

Oo’else would want three days in that manless, Godless place,

Nobbut stones and dust?




 Sun streams down

Through blue to a

Spangling point,


Still shade below

Could not be life, as I

Flail, graceless, on the surface.

Haunting purrsong

Grows louder;

Timeless, melodic moan

To sound the world I’m here,

Come to me.

Come to my darkling piece of blue

And know my peace.

Rising shadow knows my

Feeble frame and eyes deep inside.

As I wonder, shallow,

At his calm clarity;

Accepting, in ageless wisdom.


The Question

My heart I made a place for you,

My home I made a space for you,

At sunrise I would wake with you,

By sunset I would ache for you.

Why question my emotion

In light of this devotion?

When passions surge and break with you,

And all I am I stake with you.



Storm Rising

There’s a wildness in nature tonight

I cannot answer.

They say a storm is coming,

But I think these surging trees,

Beckon only to eternity.

You and I have known

The glistering cosmic draw

That counters with the urge

For peace, in careless complacency.

How better would it be to have left these things unknown, as before?

There’s a wildness in nature tonight

I cannot answer.



My version of sitting quietly with God

Is no kind Eden.

Sounds, thoughts heckle,

Like skinheads in a bar,

Hating my couth look.


Is a faraway shade moving in slow,


I dread the possession,

Yet seek it;

Eyeballs strain further within,

Socket flesh tight.

Like a dark whale rising

He comes.

And there’s no, no, no room for me.

I slap and flash and flail,

Occipital urgency

To get out, get out


Tendrils of dream climb my spine,

Like interweaving snakes,

Selfish helix, hemlock rising fast.

Did twin snakes coil Eve’s tree,

Not one?

I watch them come.

And plead for Him to find me

When they’re done.


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