Indigeneity, Language and Authenticity

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Monthly Archives: December 2018

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IN MEMORY OF THE IOLAIRE DISASTER IN THE EARLY HOURS OF NEW YEAR’S DAY 1919

Their names cut through the snowkissed machair
like shards of ominous, black ice
each godforsaken new year’s eve

Our two islands know far too well
how these waves of bitter resentment and salt
have been worn tired
by unsung laments of war and torment,

And yet we have always sung in shameful silence

Of Moiresdan
And MhicNeacail
Mac a’ Ghobainn
And MhicLe├▓id

Lost to wilful incompetence, not a war

Of
women carrying children on their hips
amongst the broken bones of fathers lost at sea

The morning came
but our grandparents never spoke of
the greencapped void that night
or the beasts of Holm,
their mindless scattering of returning sons,
like washed-up kelp strewn across the claddach

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