Written By: Noelle Sullivan
Charcoal scratchings in a bog oak frame:
rough pillars, standing stones at the coast
of Donegal, or Kerry,
gravestones of islands, most larger than a perch,
wait there like fat-bottomed gulls.
Or are they children, crumbling, straining for freedom?
One old man mapped them, gout and all, with no gear but ropes
and a desire to know his country outside the big house.
Now a miller from Orkney scales a tower. He waves
to gulls and petrels, puffins all alarm. The surfers rise,
orcas in neoprene, as he climbs.
Two hours by boat, a day of arm’s reach,
then stretching down, weak and wobbly.
His boat rocks, a cradle.
A hundred thousand stacks go unscaled.
He flies down, abseiling.
His wings are those of birds.
About the Author
Noelle Sullivan’s poems have appeared in Crannog, Poetry Northwest, Camas, Abridged, and other journals. She paints and writes from Montana and Ireland. A devotee and collector of historic Irish photography, she maintains Montana Gael, an occasional blog about images and archives in that field.