St Kilda’s Bay Lament

You and she had four bright days   on southern tussocked hills.
On Monday night in jagged pain   you crumpled to the floor.

On Friday morning there we sat   baffled, unbelieving,
in the chapel, at the cemetery   above St Kilda’s Bay.

Up at five that morning   for two hours she drank tea,
listening to your skirling pipes   cry from your CD player.

We listened to your eulogies   told by friends and clan,
while to our left the windowed wall   showed us St Kilda’s Bay.

Vast clouds billowed, black and grey,   dark seas endless stretched.
The waves were surging back and forth   down on St Kilda’s Bay.

She did not want you rushed away   after your hymns and rites.
By your casket at the windows’ end   she stood alone with you.

Did you see her ? Did you hear her ?   She bent down and leant her head,
her arms, on your timbered chest,   for you had deserted her.

She smoothed one hand in circles   on the wood that shrouded you,
trying to draw you back   from beyond St Kilda’s Bay.

We kept our distance by the doors   in that keening silence.
At last she turned, walked to us,   your fourteen year bond severed.

Dark grey clouds were billowing,   the gulls and wind screamed out.
The waves were surging back and forth   around St Kilda’s Bay.



St Kilda’s Bay Lament

14 thoughts on “St Kilda’s Bay Lament

    1. This particular St Kilda’s Bay is on the south coast of Dunedin city, in the South Island of New Zealand. The cemetery is Anderson’s Bay, along the north side of the Otago peninsular. But the the chapel is way up on the ridge, closer to St Kilda’s Bay.

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