Island Harvest

For Ruairí & Marie-Thérèse de Blacam, Inis Meáin suites and restaurant, Aran islands, Ireland

eating periwinkles requires a harvest,
back bent under a slate sky,
seawater green as jade,
wet sand sloping to the brack,

Ruairí lifting weed, molasses-dark and heavy
on an island so wild its rock
rises from the ground in jagged slices
striating a sky crazed-blue.

eating periwinkles requires garlic,
white wine, swift heat,
Ruairí white-aproned,
a toothpick or large safety-pin,
a wrist to slide, twist and connect,
a heart willing to try
winkles, herbivorous, small as a
baby’s thumb, that graze on weed.

eating periwinkles risks addiction
to the shape of conical shells in the palm,
spirals banded in fine threads of chocolate and
celandine yellow heated to downy-brown,
to texture succulent and tender,
a taste on the tongue of ocean secrets,
the sense of having entered an old world
where edible sea-snails are the key to a labyrinth.

eating periwinkles on Inis Meáin risks
not wanting to turn for home.