Storm broke orange cloves over Orkney. ‘Stop your moaning, Mother’, Dorothy scooped porridge into two porcelain bowls, poured coffee. Another morning of sobbing, droning noise flowed from Mother’s open mouth. ‘Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh …’ Soft sounds so soothing for Mother, now mourning son Tom, so overwhelming for Dorothy. ‘Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh’.
Tom drowned into moon shadows, one of numerous boys lost, lonely boys longing for turquoise pools who took rough roads. Our boys journeyed to consult Oracle One, Cloud Four. No-one found comfort, only old stones, confusion, sore bottoms or cold oatmeal. Oracle One enjoyed comedy. Oracle One roared, jolly from beyond mountain tops.
Down below, smoke rose from glowing bonfires of Stroma. Hope smouldered for mothers who understood abandonment. Outside melancholy cottages on the shore, words floated unspoken.
Note 1:- Cold Oatmeal is an example of a univocal poem, that is, each word contains the same vowel, in this case the letter ‘o’.
Note 2:- The small island of Stroma lies just off the north coast of Scotland. It is part of the Orkney Islands and was abandoned by most of the population in the 1960s. The lighthouse keepers and their families were the last ones to leave in 1997. There are nothing but sheep on the island today. The reasons for the abandonment were mainly economic.