A walled poem
We have all found refuge on this island: kings and hermits, shepherds and soldiers, sinners and holy men.
We are all equally real and equally imagined.
This island, the abbey, those blocks up on the hill, they pose no threat to our imagination. They just put it on and wear it like a life-jacket.
Humans, gulls and ghosts have lived and died on this island.
We are the last in a long line of refugees: the walkers, stepping on the consecrated ground that burns our feet.
We have shunned the world and in so doing the world has shunned us back.
We walk the shores, the caves and the hills, broken like the waves that hold us.
There is no salvation here.
The hermit who broke bread with Alexander the 1st and offered him and his men shelter, was given an abbey.
The soldiers who fought here were given barracks.
The homesick are given tents.
They are all kept in to be kept out.
We walk these walls until our feet are red with brick and blood.
And yet they stand.
I walk amongst humans, gulls and ghosts,
I walk the walls alone, my last routine.