Centre: Eochaill

Rise with the centre of the island,
its thorny-backed middle. Climb,
upwards from the main road, follow
the steep incline of a goat path. Here,
the land pillaged and pocked by hoof-
prints, shudder and thunder of goat
heels driven to ground. Follow

the sound through the drone and wheel
of crickets: summer is gone, far gone.
On every side a stone wall, briars
that burrow the flesh. Walk where there
is no map – for grykes that open in limestone,
for blackthorn, moss-rot, rain pools, birds
that wing off. For here is the centre:

briars that blossom with fruit and die,
the scat of the herd, the sting of the flesh,
the wind that hurries its salt trail out
to the cliffs, to the ocean’s surge and rise.

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