The Fishermen’s Farewell
Their long stares mark them apart; eyes gone to sea-colors: gray, foam-flecked and black in the undertow, blue as the blue banners of  the mackerel, whipping west. On land, they are smoke-walkers, where each stone is a standing stone, every circle a stone circle. They would be rumor if they could, in this frozen landscape like a stopped sea, from the great stone keels of  Callanish to the walls of  Dunnottar and Drum. They would be less even than rumor: to be ocean-stealers, to never throw a shadow —  to dream the blank horizon and dread the sight of  land. The drink storms through these men, uncompasses them, till they’re all at sea again. Their houses, heeled over in the sand: each ruin now a cairn for kites. And down by the quay past empty pots, unmended nets, and boats: this tiny bar, where men sleep upright in their own element, as seals. Robin Robertson