Irregular sonnets for Rockall

Irregular sonnets for Rockall

Lone cuspid: Atlantic mandibular;
Rockall, your seat the gums of Helen’s Reef,
Lashed by licking tsunamis of sea salt
From tough tongues, so many megannums old,
You hold the secrets of a continent.
Incontinent, content with being spent;
You know the root of agonising cold
That sets into a spine shaped like a fault
Line, come cracked. Where are the rest of your teeth,
Giant? Where is your skull? Your fibula?
Your hammer, anvil, stirrup, ribs and all?
Where is the treasure you sequestered for
All yesteryear’s investors after wars
Waged long by earthquake and mistaken squall?

What magnetism draws my cousins to
Your seemingly unseemly jagged face?
Why do Vikings, Angles, Saxons and Celts
Yet fight for the few square feet of flat rock
On your meat-ground top? They call you Waveland,
Hoist a sad rag up a pole that won’t stand,
Watch it flap in the spray like a wet sock
While you patiently wait till the world melts.
You gave your name to a pelagic place
About as big as Biscay. Now a few
Times a day, in hushed mesmeric tones, they
Call out that word as though you were a god,
Along with others whom Neptune has shod,
And I am transported far, far away.


Appears in:
Rhymes for all times [2015]


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