January Beach, Isle of Mull
Cold whack, bladderwrack.
We’re down at Uisken with a fishbox,
filling up on seaweed good for veg.
Dad strolls, in search of lava bread,
but only finds the barnacles
and, disappointed, must make do
with the low tide's chunks of marble,
Iona green, and the aluminium bones
of an old cremated caravan. And I‘m amazed
by the long, low foreshore wall,
missed before, by blindness, mine,
of someone not quite looking.
Dad looks and sees the laboured edges
of some poor crofter’s rent to dukes.
I hope, we hope, he fled to Glasgow,
liked it, or at least enough,
and never did come bobbing back
to the cold whack, bladderwrack.
Seth Crook taught philosophy at various universities before moving to the Hebrides. He does not like cod philosophy in poetry, but he does like cod, philosophy and poetry. He was inspired to write after a long illness and hasn’t stopped since. His work has recently appeared or is about to appear in Other Poetry, Ink Sweat and Tears, Snakeskin, The Journal, Antiphon, The Centrifugal Eye, Message in a Bottle and Northwords Now.