A hop, A skip, A jump
She carried you to the sea,
a push in the fluid of her womb,
negotiated slip of seaweed,
Ocean-cold, her feet placed
for a minute, just enough
to feel the pitch
of ice-sharp water,
a salt lick, undertow.
Later you’d do the same,
buoy me up in currents
of your own making,
keep me from the snag
of tides, the flood of foam.
Lynn Valentine writes between dog walks on the Black Isle. Her work has been published online and in anthologies. She is organising her first poetry collection under the mentorship of Cinnamon Press after winning a place on their Pencil competition. She tweets @dizzylynn
Photo credit ~ @camiliacastillo at http://www.unsplash.com
Patrick Williamson is English. The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Poetry: Traversi (2018), Beneficato (2015), Nel Santuario (2013; Menzione speciale della Giuria in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano, 2014). Founding member of transnational literary agency Linguafranca.
Photo credit Dr Lou Luddington https://medium.com/do-contribute/the-power-of-limpets-115b577cf4a6
When there’s no horizon because blue
is a dictator, we sail across
to the Island of Turquoise
and treat our Billie to a holiday.
She likes to have a blue-plate special
at the Blue Mooring on Tuesdays.
Adirondack potatoes with blue cheese
dressing, and a blueberry pie for dessert.
Tuesdays have a primary air about them.
Afternoons you want to punch in the arm,
hold your breath till you’re blue in the face,
stay in the water till your lips turn blue.
We scour the sand for elusive seaglass.
Maalox bottles. I think of my brother’s
cobalt obsession, the time his Chartreux
swatted the tallest vase to the floor.
When Billie asks me for some happy news
I give her my ukulele. We sail back
under an indigo sky. Venus so bright,
it glows an iridescent blue. True.
Kymm Coveney lives in Spain, though she was born in Boston and grew up in a beach town in Massachusetts (1-4-3). A freelance translator and writer, she co-hosts PoémameBCN, a multilingual poetry recital series. Flash fiction, poems and translations can be found online through BetterLies ~ http://betterlies.blogspot.com/
She tweets @KymmInBarcelona
Photo credit @jplenio at http://www.unsplash.com
The port was awash with crowds, bars, fast food and buses with engines running. Traffic. Fumes. Heat. Hassle. What on earth was she doing here? In her head she could hear his disgust at the colossal cruise ships out in the bay and his opinions on tourist traps and unreliable ferry services: ‘Call this a holiday!’ It was just as well he wasn’t actually here. ‘Let’s go island-hopping!’ he’d said but now….
The ferryboat’s eventual arrival distracted her. She knew perfectly well what to do; she’d already survived two weeks travelling to Sifnos, Antiparos, Paros and back to Santorini and had actually managed to strike up conversations with strangers, but she still kept hearing his words. ‘Find somewhere for your suitcase.’ She did as she was told. ‘Where are you going to sit? How about the cafe?’ She took in the crowds at the counter and decided to ignore him. ‘You can’t get up there- you know you’re always falling!’ He’d meant well but she’d stopped listening. She had to learn to please herself. The boat was already out in the Aegean by the time she had negotiated the stairs and managed to shoulder open the door and escape onto the top deck. Fresh air and space. At last.
A three-hour crossing. She had intended to read the novel she’d downloaded onto her iPad, but the setting sun soon put a stop to that. A dazzling display; blood orange, gold, crimson and coral, magenta streaks in an inky sea. ‘Just like The Odyssey!’ she thought, smiling to herself.
On a nearby table, four Greeks sporting gold wrist watches, smoked, laughed, drank, played cards. Their wives chatted at the next table, texting, bantering, bringing up trays of drinks. Even if he’d been with her, it wouldn’t have been like that. They’d have sat reading or sketching in silence; they had been content with each other, only speaking when something needed to be said or when he wanted to tell her something. Not that she had always listened even then. But it had been a companionable silence, not this continual nagging. Why was he doing this to her now? She knew he was gone, but he was everywhere.
A song burst; four men in harmony, singing some haunting lament as they threw down cards one by one. And then the women joined in; shrill and feisty, determined to be heard. At that point, she had to escape. Hidden in a quiet corner, she finally lost control; wept. ‘Ridiculous thing to do!’ she heard him whisper. She took no notice.
A breeze was stirring; the lights of Heraklion wavered like specks bobbing in the distance. As she watched them grow bigger and brighter, she felt calmer, focused on the lapping of the waves: it slowly dawned on her that, given time, his voice might begin to fade, and she might start to live again.
Decades ago, Dorothy Burrows taught Drama and wrote plays and the occasional short story. She won a few awards. After years of working in a museum, retirement is enabling her to enjoy creative writing again. Walking in the countryside and memories of a coastal childhood often feature in her poems. She tweets as @rambling_dot
Photo credit @desipris at http://www.unsplash.com
bits of me have changed
where my hard edge gets worn down
and the wounds are salted
strung up with the bubbles of dulse
every passing jellied creature
has bounced against me
frissoned the melting clay
found blood in the chalk
some things are beyond me
Laura McKee’s poems can be found in journals and online, including in Crannog, Butcher’s Dog, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto, Molly Bloom, Ink Sweat & Tears. Also in anthologies, Mildly Erotic Verse (Emma Press), The Result is What you See Today (Smith|Doorstop). She tweets @Estlinin
Photo credit @chrissiey at http://www.unsplash.com
Crabbing at Walberswick
The biggest of the sixty-four we caught
that morning, King of crabs, reared up,
pincering the air, while, underneath,
the sixty three resigned to their fate,
had seen it all yesterday, the day before,
last summer when they were titchy and soft
and didn’t yet know they only had to wait
and the children would tip them back in
and run, squealing; that the day would go on,
the sun climb in the sky, and more lardons
be dangled on grubby pieces of string.
Carole Bromley is a York-based poet, stanza rep for the Poetry Society, winner of a number of prizes including the Bridport and the 2019 Hamish Canham Award. Latest publication, a pamphlet, Sodium 136, from Calder Valley Poetry. She tweets @CaroleBromley1
Photo credit @davidclode at http://www.unsplash.com