Marshall Walker, who now lives in New Zealand, sent us the poem below.  Thanks Marshall.

In December 2002 when my wife and I were in Scotland I took her to Lismore. The visit triggered memories. My father who shed city formalities when we were on holiday at Kilcheran. The walk back from Fiart after a day on the loch, hoping my mother would be coming to meet us. We would be singing, 'She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes...' The sense of loss when they died and the way that changed the island itself for me; but the island kept enjoining me to find a love of my own. When I did I presented her to the island, hoping for its approval.


Lismore

 

Snug in your sea-circle you don’t miss much.

Picts came first to give you eyes to watch

A pair of rival saints, northmen from the Lynn,

A princess to be held in Viking stones,

Then crofters, lairds and tourists for the trout

That lie by reeds in Fiart and Kilcheran,

And all of Scotland from the Bŕrr Mňr.

 

A formal father was my island friend

In gum boots, oilskin, rod and chocolate.

Your lochs cast off the city man

With creak of rollock, gullcry, fishy magic.

Bass wet with trout, nodding to Cruachan,

We marched the catch to where his love

Was coming round the mountains when she came.

 

She often came, they went, but you go on,

Green, limestone-ribbed and built to last,

A storied headstone for their arch of love,

A garden still, but not mine as before.

Rooks cawed from elms and lambs implored,

Brown trout still rose along the reeds.

You told me what to do to get them back.

 

‘You saw their love’, your limestone said.

Rooks cried, ‘Find yours’ and lambs implored.

I journeyed, tested, failed, and fell

At last, for once, in love to bring to you.

You saw me coming with my girl,

You held the sun above us and approved.

December limestone rang with Spring.

 

Marshall Walker

 

Other items by Marshall - My Island that Likes to be visited - Photos

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