Underneath The Loch

A man, giraffe-like, thin, a random match of clothes
with woollen hat and stubble, faked the drinker's sway.
He pissed as though he thought that he had got away,
he'd looked about but failed to spot my eyes, my loath-

ing eyes. He stood on rock, on lonely highland rock,
a sloping down to water highland rock, to dark
and silent loch, to isolated loch. And stark
above, a minor hill, a hundred metre smock

of stone, and worn by nagging wind and broken trees.
But he was staring down, then kneeling down, was at
the water's border, brushing fingers in that flat
and freezing wet betrayer. No, not fingers, he's---

I don't remember what. I see the lights, the lights,
the bright and churning fire attractive lights,
they're underneath the water, they're watching me.
I see the lights, the lights, they're witching me.

I'll try, I'll try to not remember them. He stood,
he stood and walked away, not far, and turned to watch
the mere. He waited, and he waited. Then a blotch
of sunlight broke the dusk and shone on me; I could

have kept my eyes on him, perhaps, but felt I had
to hide until the sun had ceased to lend its smile.
When I returned, a slow and careful creep, a while
had past, but there he was, no longer still, a tad

disturbed: his movements jerked. His confidence was spent.
It took some thought to work it out: his clothes had changed;
they seemed a little darker, sprayed in dirt, arranged
a subtle differently. Then in the loch he went.

I don't remember it. I see the lights, the lights,
the bright and churning fire attractive lights,
they're rising from the water, they're locking me.
I see the lights, those lights, bewitching me.

I'm holding, just, but not for long. He swum and dived.
He surfaced once or twice, but then the loch was still.
And after thirty seconds, I sprinted down that hill;
by luck I didn't trip. What could I do? I'd tried

to phone before; the signal wasn't there. I stripped
at speed to swim myself, to dive and give him breath,
but that was when the loch was lit from underneath.
At first the light was white and still, yet I was gripped

by shock. I grabbed my things and sprinted off. I suppose
I looked an idiot, I tried to dress and run.
When nothing followed me, I calmed and clothed, then spun
around to watch the loch. The lights had moved. They rose.

I daren't remember more. I saw the lights, the lights,
the bright and churning hypnotising lights,
they've risen from the water, they've stolen me.
I'm in those lights, the lights, they're raping me.

And then, I'm blank, all blank. I know I've lost the night.
I'm on the beach. It's dark and still. And then I hear
the sirens, sirens whisper, sirens howling near.
A clatter helicopter. I faint in its searchlight.

You woke me up, you soldiers, with your shouting and
your running round. You brought me here, and ask me what
and where and when. I'm scared; I'm in the blank of shock;
allow me home, I need to feel my partner's hand.

image: poem



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