The Last Islander

I am nobody. An echo, a dream of an ancient place,
A ghost who lives in the shadow of a new world.

Now I stand before the tide one last time,
The last of my clan, family all gone.
Tears cried and long dried, for lovers lost
And children planted in her blessed soil.

I am the only one, the last Islander
I cling now to this rock, absorb all I can
In these final moments,
Because this is my life.

On this familiar air my ancient histories lift and rise.
My memories flicker in the changing canvas of the sky.
The moving tides became in time our lesson and our lore,
The womb, our sustenance, we workers of the shore.

I cling to it all, I cling to her beating heart, her blood and bone,
Holding fast to all that I have ever known.
A child torn from a mother’s breast, an ancient child
But a child nonetheless

I am the Island, the Island is me.
The sea is my blood,
The wind my living breathe
The earth my gnarled and wasted flesh
And I must leave.

They tell me I must go now,
Turn away from the only home my people have ever known.
They tell me that no man is an Island,
If that is true, then I am surely no man.

To leave is to die. But I will not die as they deign
But rather by my own design.
I will not perish in the coldness of a barren landlocked home.
If I accept the faith they lay before me then I am already dead,
My soul will leave me, and I will be no more.
I will not let them weigh me down
With this anchor of death,

I will be rather
The author of my own demise.
And so I go,
On the rising of the first tide.
I will set a new course,
Not for the death of the caging land
But for the surging life of sea, her heat
And her endless possibility.

For there are worse things than to die,
With her air in my lungs,
And a pocket full of sand.
And so I will leave the Island
The sea my blood
The wind my living breathe
I will go.
Alive and whole
Into the blue.

© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

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