around the wind

seven days heard through broken windows of an outhouse of an old croft
two walks on the island edge

nine recordings
seven days
twenty-five miles
10h 27m

in Orcadia

Yesterday today tomorrow

The door is missing.
Inside, I cautiously straighten
after the stoop under the low stone lintel.
Stone walls, winter defying, thick,
hold wooden trusses for the stone slab roof.
A workbench squats under one window,
a tired lathe beyond it,
a long unused power cable dangling from the ceiling.
The trodden earth floor undulates
past the internal wall that separates workbenches
from deserted stalls in the other half of the building.

After I have gone,
to walk the land’s edge,
to ring this isle,
wren, blackbird, starling and sparrow
whirr, pick and tssiip their way through the day
while the wind presses and knocks the fabric of the building.

From the eastern wall, low, broken-eyed windows
squint across meadows, to a windblown shore
and on, over the sound to Westray.
Through fractured glass, wind pushes
oystercatcher’s yelp, curlew’s rolling bubble
and the hoarse keeaagh of black headed gulls,
all punctuated with the seep seep chatter of sparrows.

Mixed into this slow, rolling melody of sighs and yelps comes
an occasional growl of mechanical noise,
tipping, dropping, dripping, quieting rain
and the distant moaning wail of seals.

 

Around the Wind (10h 27m performance), Culture Lab, Newcastle University, July 25th 2017.