Valedictory for Max

by Isabel White

Inspired by Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King

I’ll sing you eight songs…

Sing to a madman from over the water,
Sentried selkie of Egilsay, Wyre

Sing ma wee scoot, not yet a mistress
Beltane maid to bana-mhorair

Sing of the shrike, of corncrake, kittiwake,
jing-bang kiss of Orcadian air

Sing of a cockstride from Sanday to Stronsay
through maddening murmuration of midges

Sing of the shroud of winter frets;
of simmer dim summer, asphodel, sedges

Sing of the foment of the sea,
the tidal flow over skerri and voe

Sing of a ruckus, Orkney Wintering,
Viking longships blown to Spain

Sing Merry Andrew, you reester rascal
we’ll no hear your like again