I share the double bed with my brother,
a bed recessed and old as the cracks in the ceiling, peeling
and mapping a long quiet history of their own,
for the building is quaint to our young eyes,
the kitchen cupboards have frosted glass
sliding doors and our voices
echo strangely on the lino
and the painted walls.  The geyser
jets water steamed and boiled and
the blue flame in the hole is always on
above the long steel arm but don't 
touch for it's hot.

And out across the water
through the parted curtains
gleam the mainland lights
and the sea in darkness stretches, ripples, lapps
the shore - we sleep quickly here.

In the morning the little man painted black and white 
with his bowler hat is up and out,
swinging with intent, upright, wooden, 
face defiant to the wind, 
arms pumping up and down,
posture straight, motion strong,
always at his station on the roof -
proof that all things stay the same.

And every Easter is the crocodile,
his red-ringed eyes, his teeth a pristine white 
and sharp for cutting.
And the lion is half-way round
looming large and grand 
springing from the rocks
but too big to really move.

And in the evening the smell and clang of iron 
echoing the close with its coloured glass
panes of blue and pink and green,
little squares of light we look through 
that make the world change hue.  
The stone steps are always white and clean 
as we rush them.

Rosy faces, windswept hair, jellyfish
and laughter, a rocky shore for clambering,
bookmarks and bicycles, a cycle round the island, 
sandcastles, buckets, spades -
a dream undreamed and unafraid
by years of island wind and memory unmade.
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