Fianuis

Well, friend, we’re here again — 
            sauntering the last half-mile to the land’s frayed end
to find what’s laid on for us, strewn across the turf — 
gull feathers, bleached shells,
                                        a whole bull seal, bone-dry,
knackered from the rut
(we knock on his leathern head, but no one’s home).

Change, change — that’s what the terns scream
                                        down at their seaward rocks;
fleet clouds and salt kiss — 
everything else is provisional,
                                        us and all our works.
I guess that’s why we like it here:
                         listen — a brief lull,
                                        a rock pipit’s seed-small notes.

“Fianuis” is from The Bonniest Company (2015) © Kathleen Jamie and published with permission of Picador.
Source: Poetry (December 2015)
More Poems by Kathleen Jamie