Few boats put out; and fewer now arrive.
It is seasonal *and* it is permanent.
Once there were more than one a day, with hopes
of new buildings and new businesses. Today
it is unusual seeing outsiders;
and winter makes it worse. All this I'm told;
though there is evidence: decay, poverty
and fear in the midst of signs of past prosperity.
Some still come. Two were here this afternoon,
staring at maps, at us, asking for beds.
No one tells me anything. Each guards its news
in case there is profit, the fools. Blank looks
become smug looks, bags jangling with bright coins
hidden by hastily gathered clothes. Their greed
seems habitual. There is no desperation
[Elidius is one of the names of one who may have lived at some time after
the Roman period on Scilly, or, as it then seems to have been called,
Ennor. There is no evidence of him apart from the earlier name of St
Helen's island, where it is said he may have been buried, Insula Sancti
Elidii. His feast day is 8th August. Until now he has had no hagiographer. ]
Apologies for posting a day late