Dead-eye, St Kilda by Betty Tindal – found on St Kilda in 2006

A pulley really

From an old sailing ship,

in my hand, tactile, evocative.

See where the ropes bit,

smoothing and polishing the timber?

Was it this that saved it from a winter fire?

Here in my hands a tiny working part

of a tall ship….

See the men hauling on ropes,

hear the blocks creaking,

as the masts bend under the wind.

making the rigging sing…

Waves slap wooden hulls,

adding to the symphony of sea sounds,

for many journeys till…

came the stormtoendallstorms

Battered and broken, flotsam

made its quiet way to this remote island.

Now just a sculpture of holes,