During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the small coastal village of Carsethorn, on the Solway Firth, was a busy port with regular sailings to Liverpool, The Isle of Man and Ireland. Some 21,000 emigrants left here for a better life in the New World. The remains of the pier they left from is a stark reminder of the cruelty of the Scottish Lowland Clearances, seldom mentioned but just as traumatic as the better known Highland Clearances.

At Carsethorn beach…

The tide is on the ebb,
Slowly, old pier posts,
Emerge like black fingers.

They grasp nothing,
All is quiet here now.
Time has tamed this shore,
Tides have cleansed its story.

But, they’re still here,
The thousands that left,
Deep down you sense them.
You see faces in the stones,

In the breaking of waves,
You hear a murmur of voices,
And the breeze is a finger tip,
Tap-tapping your shoulder.

By photos,poetry and haiku by Derek Ross

I am a photographer/ poet from Dumfries in South West Scotland. I concentrate on minimalist images and prefer using an iPhone these days. As far as my writing is concerned, I usually write short poems (some in Scots dialect), hence my interest in haiku and related forms.


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