by Donald S Murray

Hair a seaweed tangle,
smoke curling round like spindrift,
I might have been arrested
for impersonating a lighthouse if I ever shifted
across the pier in platform soles,
high-waisters endowing extra height,
the glow of my velvet jacket,
as I puffed my cigarette while night
shadowed the town of Stornoway;
each suck and blow an S.O.S
while trying to stand resolute in storms
and not reveal too many signals that my ship was in distress.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I’m the horrific looking article at the back far right — floppy long black hair. We’re all pupils of the Nicolson Institute (Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland).


Donald S Murray
is from Ness in the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. A former teacher now living in Shetland, his books include The Guga Hunters, And On This Rock, SY Story (Birlinn) as well as The Guga Stone (Luath Press) and the Gaelic play, Sequamur. His latest book, Herring Tales (Bloomsbury) has been widely reviewed and was chosen as one of the Guardian’s Nature Books of the Year. He was recently selected as one of six writers to represent Scotland at the International Book Festival in Pisa, Italy, and has been awarded both the Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships.

PHOTO: The author revisiting Stornoway Harbour over 40 years later ( Summer 2016).