Burnt Islands

From Burntisland on the north shore of the Firth of Forth the December dawn tries-unsuccessfully- to rekindle the passions of the passing twelve month’s flames. Across the water, among the embers of the year, faint pulses of the Edinburgh streetlights will soon extinguish and die. I think of another burnt island, the dying glow across the Minch after the Vikings had razed all the trees on Lewis- an inferno that drove generations of people to dig peat to warm their winter homes and to the shore for flotsam timber for their roofs.

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