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Bonzer Words!: A Dream Of Islands

Ann Danskin's poem gathers in vivid memories of childhood days on Scottish islands.

Ann writes for Bonzer! magazines. For lots more good reading please visit www.bonzer.org.au

Uist. Aged three, or four
Highland cattle hurrying homeward
through lingering twilight evenings,
past our manse walls,
their sharp horns,
their shaggy shapes
fearsome, marvellous.

Lewis at five or six.
Bright sun on stormy capes
and seagulls sweeping level lands.
Straight roads above near shorelines.
And daisies showing plain white faces
along the verges. Black peat ditches.
In the open, unornamented.
Scattered houses, church.

At seven, Harris.
A small steep brae from home to school.
Craggy forts assailed by wind and sea.
A thousand eyebright in the turf.
A bull menacing in a fenced-in field.
Old Donald, black, reeking of soot -
Imagined, threatened kiss.
Leading old Kirsty, sand-blind, homeward
past a lonely darkening loch

And racing back bare-footed, past
the sleeping water-lilies, past
where shadows lurked among the circling hills
to a glad returning, where the lamp was lit.

Ann Danskin


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