The Overhaul

Look – it’s the Lively,
hauled out above the tideline
up on a trailer with two
flat tyres. What –

14 foot? Clinker-built
and chained by the stern
to a pile of granite blocks,
but with the bow

still pointed westward
down the long voe,
down toward the ocean,
where the business is.

Inland from the shore
a road runs, for the crofts
scattered on the hill
where washing flaps,

and the school bus calls
and once a week or so
the mobile library;
but see how this

duck-egg green keel’s
all salt-weathered,
how the stem, taller
– like a film star –

than you’d imagine,
is raked to hold steady
if a swell picks up
and everyone gets scared . . .

No, it can’t be easy,
when the only spray to touch
your boards all summer
is flowers of scentless mayweed;

when little wavelets leap
less than a stone’s throw
with your good name
written all over them –

but hey, Lively,
it’s a time-of-life thing,
it’s a waiting game –
patience, patience.

from The Overhaul (Picador, 2012), Kathleen Jamie 2012, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers.

Kathleen Jamie in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

Glossary
Close