Skiff Hallowing Port of Ness


Of Rionnag, the charm of her building,
our son of the ninth wave remembers:

her levelled beam, the keelson tree,
The One securing, first to last,

raked stern and stem-posts rising,
Three in one; the horned keel,

Twelve strakes, his craft becomes;
board, bevel, land, match cunningly,

clench-nails through the red grain;
form a leaf, a tear, an open hand,

the first chrism, linseed and turpentine;
she rides; a gleam of honey in glint of sea.

God of the deeps from Barra to Cape Wrath
gift her with hopes of safe comings-home.



From Greenstreet Fragments