I wrote the bones of this piece during a workshop with the poet Dom Bury.
Finding the heart crack, a place to write from, the place of tension between extinction and joy…
Photo by Andrew McDouall, East Voe Beach, Shetland, 2017
Birds on the bank
the wing and the rock, wings done pulsing, nor lifting anymore
the screaming terns
white blood flights
the wet mother lays flat before me, the lip of her wave my arm, the side of her finger my brow
Curlew hiding in the moaning grass, he walks delicately through my scalp, down my face;
eye lashes wet, heavy, I’m gathering tears on the leaves of all the branches of your thoughts
and still it’s a blessing
(Or I think it is)
You far away in time
and tomorrow too
think of me in the space you make between your fingers as you spread them on the animal skin laid on the dirt floor beneath the sky
Black as night and tucked with the stitches of stars the coverlet hangs a crescent body
a curling fleshy belly
pale and round
the colour of honey
you lie my twin in the bubble I blow between my brows
it hangs there, and rides the current
and collapsing my lips fall with the others
The man is brought before me, twisted and dry.
Ancient you come hard against my palm, I fold my fingers around you, an earth, a sett, a burrow for this stone to rest for the next 2000 years.
Yellow butterflies squeeze out their perfume pale as dawn
Creamy white peals the bell at your crown
and I swim in the seas of your body, anemone pink.
Your dusky cloak, the edges of your hair stroke me man-god: Or ant. Mouse.
We embrace; for a moment I feel your hair against my face. I like it.
The bridges your breath makes sharing this love with all you ones who nest:
I sit beside the chapel, treasure wrapped in wool on the lonely isle. I’d already left him.
Asking for spells and trances and the vibration of cells, he brings me alive; he fears me.
The cut of the tongue of the spider, the carmine stab of the tern
the holes which might tear wider, though which we could drop, my son would fall
(I’d already have fallen)