Caolila poem, Saturday Live 11/02/12

Caolila (pr. Kaleela) is the name of the boat built by Justin and Linda Ruthven-Tyers a few years after their (uninsured) timber-frame house burnt down…

Caolila (for Justin and Linda Ruthven-Tyers)

a timber frame, a hungry flame
two lives that wouldn’t be the same

to stand and watch hearth, home and hope
go down in flames and up in smoke
and then to play the optimist
and say that ‘good will come of this’

here is an inventory
the clothes they wore
one car, no key,
and one another

yet they, so cruelly downsized,
did what they wouldn’t, otherwise

for who can say what other lives
we’d live upon the other side
of unforeseen catastrophe

embracing insecurity
(and DIY and carpentry)
they built a boat and went to sea

Caolila hugs the Celtic coast
they’ve laid to rest their old home’s ghost

and who would say their lives are poorer
in Caolila out on Islay or the sea loch of the Isle of Jura

in sun, salt spray, in wind and rain
would that every loss were such a gain

* * * * *

[The full story is told in Justin’s book Phoenix from the Ashes

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