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Another pause | by Colin Campbell (Bruiach)
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Another pause

Reading more Norman MacCaig last night after my trip to Sannick Bay....this one really jumped out at me last night and seemed to add the words to the photograph I'd taken that afternoon. It's called Another pause:


The crab's mouth bubbled and its eyes were squint.

I - well then, more than I - and a purple cloud

Were above the sea. To prove it I tossed a flint.

The sound it made was short and sharp,not loud.


Extraordinary ambiguities were

Nowhere to be seen. I wished my knees

Did not pretend (they failed so) to appear

Humped in the air above the Hebrides.


How could a boat be more a boat, or be less,

Than that one dragged south by a paltering breeze?

Caves in my mind accepted me. My guess

At what was in them cleared, and failing to please.


The crab lay on its back, its legs and claws

All pointing to itself. I wished it would

Stop all that silly bubbling...Just because

It was going to die ... The world stayed as I stood.


Then settled down around me. My whole world jumped

From a mica glitter to the crawling cloud

And to prove nothing I threw a flint that plumped

Into the sea with a short sound,not loud.


Norman MacCaig 1964


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Taken on June 5, 2012