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Kirbuster Farm Museum, Orkney

by  James Graham

Posted: Sunday, September 4, 2005
Word Count: 130

Kirbuster Farm Museum, Orkney

Peat-incense drifts towards the roof-vent,
much of it lingering, milder than acrid
coal-smoke, sweeter even than wood.

Like the stoic love
of the last family here, this fire
is at the centre of the room,
founded against a grand old stone.

Peat lies to hand in the neuk.
A settle and an Orkney chair tall-backed
and deeply curved like a half-barrel
drew children, wife and husband
into the sooty circle of love.

Soft flesh beneath this carapace,
far safer than any ancient turtle,
slept in a bed of three stone sides and roof
wrought from the very cliffs of Yesnaby.

Gales sigh against these walls.
'I'll huff and I'll puff',
sighs the dog-tired wind.

The boot of God
could stamp on this and it would stand.