The sweetened stench of kelp in lines –
As long as reef and Viking old –
Comes tangled with lamenting seals,
With diver’s wails of freedoms edge.
And through that sharpened sense of sky,
Across the machair, orchid wild,
The corncrakes called and answered spring,
And sleepless summoned summer’s nights.
These are the worlds of ocean spray,
Of distant deeps and tangled sedge,
Of histories hidden in the sands,
Of islands on the brink of time.
Through scented tides they call the moon:
The corncrakes mark the passing years.