It takes a day to meet and share an adventure.
In anticipation to meeting a kindred spirit at the Bressay Ferry Terminal – en route to the most westerly point of the island – came that invisible bridge between two harbours, tied by one stretch of water, our very Bressay Sound. From April to September, many seaworthy crafts come to anchor or to moor in our waters… And Leirna criss-crosses like a spider.
Bressay, the great sheltering whale-shaped island just opposite our only town, stands between two worlds I love.
My visiting friend, who emerged from the ferry with two Bressay residents I know so well, had freshly arrived from this other side of the North Sea, via Bergen. She too was ready for a great adventure, in the hope to see an otter among our many local wild treasures. As I waited for her on the Lerwick side, came a poem.
Alexandra Wharf on a Sunday afternoon, where
feet wander between islands, and
boats are tied to
I look at you from
my town side, between
the Knab & Kebister.
between Hay’s Dock and Bryggen, where
clouds fly past, white,
fishermen anchored in hords to
fill barrels with
silver darlings –
we share the sea, wharves,
dark box beds, cracks in floorboards,
lead diamond shapes from old windows, as two towns rose,
rust, labyrinth of wood and salt,
two stories tied where
folk wander off
a ferry and
imprint their lives on tarmac… And still
remember old cobbles.
I’m still counting
ink and blotches from well-kept books somebody wrote on
Bergen side –
whole salesman’s world.
But you stand firm against each gale,
shelter my side of the
I look at your
portside, I see the meadows of summer,
the great white whale
Oh, we saw that otter in Sandness, and savoured cake, as we sat on the edge of the pier.