Mailboats Shetland: Jim & Jo

Jim Mainland and Jo Jack collaborated on a Mailboat Project. You can follow their creative process below.

4th June 2008 – Jim

My Dearest

Today hav Adam and I bin wed this thirteen year
And all that I do each day I set down here,
And bestow what little I knowe of our world,
But not as treasury, not to be followed.
Adam say my writin be the work of vanitys hireling
So I keep my efforts out of his nose, for the best I feele.

Today the butter was a longe time cumin,
Indeed not till I had served mischief did it cum.
Sarah did burne the dinner, and Adam was cross,
He mislyking Sarah’s cooken, with such fuss
That I do sometimes hav to let him think it is me.
Men be verry tiresome sometimes.

There is but little livin to be had here now,
Hardly enow to keep hands abroad, Adam say.
We hav eaten the last flesh and the barrle board
Is sleek to the touch. I eke out what I can with sword
And scurvy-grass. Adam has lost his merryness.
He look inside to our own sins as earnest,
But I think it is none but the worlds will
That beckon a cause to its procreant ills.

Now Sarah is at rest, Adam saw to the burryin,
The land boylen and blisterd with souring.

Today I walled me up inside the ingle-stay,
The better to dungeon the looks I give, he say.

He has been beyond this day, as is his wish.
I saw him go, yellow in the moon’s wash.

All night I winde a pretty noose of ambergris,
Sew tongues to free the forfeit of a breath,
Fashion my guile to sweetheart the sea;
Proud-seeker be crowe-comforter, they say.

Adam will not rise, he lies uneaseful.
Why I flourish in spite of him he cannot puzzel.

And in my extremitie
My mothers words cum back to me:
Filched meat findes but braxy leavings;
Handsome the field that spares no delving;
Ever followe the bloode to its bandages;
A cairn will growe round the dead if righteous;
And make a shroude for your laughter earlie,
For you who judge these reckonings knowe,
In all this time no childe was borne to me.

As probably this letter will never goe
To you, my only love and fairest,
Or if it do what I say can have no interest,

I will say no more.