Longships finding harbour

The first Loch Fyne Viking Festival reached the marina at Portavadie today. i was invited , as the constituency MSP, to go over and say hullo.

I was fortunate to arrive just as the second longship came into the Marina and even luckier to get some pictures as it passed a little rowan with the first berries showing. 

The rowan in Viking lore is the substance from which the first woman was made, the first man being made from ash.  Rowan was also the wood from which rune staves were carved.

But all the time there was a poem I couldn't get out of my mind, though I couldn't remember where it was from or who had written it.   

I had to search for it when I came home and of course I found it eventually.  

"The Longships in Harbour" is the title of a  1970 book of poems by the great and much missed William McIlvanney and the last line was what was going through my head  as I was watching the boats come in and the re-enactment Vikings come ashore,  a snapshot of which is my extra picture. 

This is the title poem from the volume :

The longships find their harbour in the head

Seas where the birds hung
Waiting in the wind
Where promises were sung of lands to find 
Wash to the lonely beaches of the mind.
The jungle feeds the hunger of the knife.
And here is where the ships at last have led
Dropped anchor in a depthless troubled bed.

All things are discovered except life. 

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