often nostalgic, these poems speak
of Lorn Macintyre’s deep affection for his family and his childhood in
ancestral territory “wrapped preciously in Gaelic.” Outstanding and pained is the final long poem about his mother, which disturbingly communicates the experience of old age, love, and irreversible
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In memory of Captain John Kennedy
You told me
this story nearly fifty years ago
in the bar in Tobermory, on a winter’s night
with the Atlantic running in the
and the banshee shrieking in the
leave in Tiree in autumn 1940,
been walking on the western shore
when you became aware you were among
a group of
of their duffle coats were up,
and I could
see against the setting sun
there was something wrong with their
couldn’t hear their seaboots on the shingle.’
later, you were called out to assist
that had run aground in a gale,
two off the west coast of Tiree.
had tried to launch a rescue boat
but it had
capsized in the heavy swell.
you had been walking with
on the western shore were the
helped to lift from the sea,
their faces blemished with salt,
filled with the ocean.
making for their graves at Soroby,’
trembling. ‘Give me another whisky.’
For other poems (not from collection above), visit Lorn at