Egilsay – a poem by Lydia Harris


clink go the beads of the brothers,
they walk south between verges 
of thistle and mint 

in the nave, three sided stones 
mark the place 

the bell in the tower hangs
from an iron frame

this seed ripens

they know so little 
they lean on the stile
at the elbow of Brother Johan 
a red admiral quivers

a swallow rises 
behind Aslef’s shoulders

angelica, scabious, willow 

follow the bell 
smell the mint before the storm 
before the tide rolls in 

Lydia Harris lives in the Orkney island of Westray. She held a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award in 2017. Her fourth pamphlet A Small Space is due from Paper Swans this year. Her first full collection, Objects for Private Devotion is due from Pindrop Press in 2022.

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