Poems by Penelope Shuttle from her forthcoming collection ~ Lyonesse

When and If

you write about Lyonesse
write in silver ink on scarlet parchment

describe lions and sea-gardens
but never mention

the life of Christ
His all-seeing eyes are blind to Lyonesse

If and when
you draw a map of our metropolis

include every sundial and boulevard
paint the circling city walls bright

as a marriage belt woven of ten colour-silks
two more than the rainbow for Lethowsow

When and if
you record the day the Fool of Leonnoyes

heard a golden Lion roar a warning
every hour on the hour

Fool who watched the city slip under the wave
but never said a word

tell that to the credulous world
straight from the water-horse’s gob

Penelope Shuttle

Inscribed on a Stela found on the seabed

down here
no one cares
if you’re honest or a liar
rich or poor
the only virtue here
is how much
you’ve forgotten
of that blood-boltered world
above the shiver
and pound
of the waves
you must forget everything
says Lyonesse
everything but

Penelope Shuttle

Penelope Shuttle lives in Cornwall, and is President of the Falmouth Poetry Group. She has published many collections of poems, most recently Lzrd: Poems from The Lizard Peninsula (with Alyson Hallett) November 2018, IDP, and Will You Walk a Little Faster? Bloodaxe, May 2017. Forthcoming: Lyonesse, from Bloodaxe, Spring 2021.


Tweeting as @penelopeshuttle

Photo credit @yamispap at http://www.unsplash.com

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