From the Fast Train ~ A poem by Imogen Forster

From the Fast Train

Across the firth cloudbanks rise
like mountains: a Caucasus range
transported, whipped into whiteness.

Sunlight blinks on the far shore,
the mild hills rise and fall, a roll
of paper scenery opening as we move.

In the salt-spumed distance the land
is misty, painted in the muted, formal
tones of those old holiday advertisements

that showed us summer heat: resinous pines,
mimosa and sharp agaves, their flower stems
leaning over improbable intensities of blue.

Hikers crossing shadowed fells, buckets
and spades scattered on spotless sands,
Arcadias that lay just beyond our reach.

At the estuary’s mouth the coastline ends.
Now it’s steep winter fields, earth steel-turned
for sowing, herring gulls and lichened walls.

Imogen Forster

Imogen Forster has been writing and publishing poems for the past seven years. She completed an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University in 2017, and has a collection on the verge of being ready to submit to publishers. She lives in Edinburgh and tweets @ForsterImogen

Photo credit; @dannyeve at http://www.unsplash.com

Taking Tea with the Bal Maidens ~ A poem by Alison Lock

Taking Tea with the Bal Maidens

As seabed-boulders roll
over their heads, metalliferous
seams creak and scream.

‘There’s plenty of ‘sten’
the miners call to them
on the surface, who lift,
haul, pick, break, sep-
arate the ore, to find
the crack that binds the tin.

As they dress the ore,
they chant, sing, and sip
from a flask of mugwort tea.

Alison Lock

Alison Lock’s writing focuses on the relationship of humans and the environment connecting an inner world with an exploration of land and sea. Her most recent publications are a short story collection A Witness of Waxwings, Cultured Llama Press (2017); and Revealing the Odour of Earth, Calder Valley Poetry (2017). You can read more here; http://www.alisonlock.com Tweeting as @alilock4

Photo credit; Pinterest.co.uk/www.westernmorningnews.co.uk

Lindisfarne ~ A poem by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

Lindisfarne

Inland fields framed my childhood home
a hundred miles from any coast.
Yet, I dreamt oceans,
wave after breaking wave.

Harsh daybreaks chinked apart
my mother’s drapes –
stiff, bleached clean of love.
I rubbed sleep from my eyes
and wary, I watched
and learnt to read the frowns
gathered on her brow –

knew what came next
raised fists, open slaps, closed blows
all set to rain upon my lowered head.

In interim, nomadic years
I’ve lived north and east and west
uncradled by those early fears.
Now, finally, in this thin place,
midst Causeway and wild sea,
my mother’s curse is laid to rest
and I forgive her arid, tortured breast.

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is considered by many to be a ‘thin place,’ that is a place where the veil between the spiritual world and our own physical world is thin.

Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon lives near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She has an MA in Creative Writing [Newcastle 2017]. She believes everyone’s voice counts. She tweets as @CeinwenHaydon

Photo credit; from Unsplash by James Homans ~ https://www.JamesHomans.com)

Bull Island Sanctuary, Dollymount Strand, Dublin ~ A poem by Rona Fitzgerald

Bull Island Sanctuary, Dollymount Strand, Dublin.

Summer days she’d set out with four of us on the bus –
bag laden with cosies, sandwiches and spare clothes.

Infinite blues; sea and sky merging, no frontiers.
Bird beat, waders, oystercatchers, zen-like herons.

We stood on one leg until we fell. Splashed about,
ate our sand filled lunch as mother’s nose twitched.

Later, we trudged home across the long bridge
trailing damp wool togs and towels. Back to order.

My heart’s in those grainy dunes,
keening sea birds summon me home.

Rona Fitzgerald

Rona Fitzgerald has poems in UK, Scottish, Irish and US publications.
Highlights include featured poet in the Stinging Fly 2011, Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry 2016, Oxford Poetry XVI.iii Winter 2016-17, Poems for Grenfell Tower, Onslaught Press 2018 and #Me Too, Fair Acre Press, 2018, featured poet in the Blue Nib issue 39 September 2019.

A Road West ~ A poem by Patrick Wright

A Road West

The cliffs’ tin mine is a sentry,
a shadow from the cove’s upwards glance.
A path leads West where the only sound are mason bees.
Alpines and stinging ants sheet the mounds.
Occasional ruins appear, Greek in this light,
and the scorched Atlantic peels like my sunburnt arms.
A coastal path spirals up, and my vertigo
throws me off the edge a hundred times.
The wire fence reveals no ledge, just a curve,
no precipice, no sense of where or how far to fall.
My backpack slices my right shoulder,
to remind myself, ensure the slip would be towards life.

Patrick Wright

Patrick Wright has a poetry pamphlet, Nullaby, published by Eyewear in 2017. A full collection will follow in 2020. His poems have appeared in several magazines, including Agenda, Wasafiri, The Reader, and The High Window. He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. You can read more here; http://www.patrickiwright.co.uk/about.php He tweets as @Saturnineone

Finding the Real Ireland ~ A poem by Jilly O’Brien

Finding the Real Ireland

There she goes
flying along Inch Strand
flaxen mane and lightning hooves
thundering the low-lit sand spit
long red tresses a banner unfurled
before the green – gowned harp
sounds, sing-songing a tongue
only Tuatha de Danann understand

Her lover is a merman
sailing his coracle across strip-shiny sea
slipping like treacle over the side
into water where hair coils
like wet rope over seal – blinking eyes.
He tiptoes the bladderwrack
and eats silvery fishes

In Limerick boys are racers
kicking their horses
to go faster
down the motorway
between the rubbish fires.
A man walks a fox on a lead
and throws his empties into oncoming traffic

Girls share what they have
somewhere not on Trip Advisor.
The dark haired one with cracked lips
her dress isn’t a dress
she likes the smell of chips and hot water though
could be allergic to horses
often runs across the road without looking.

Jilly O’Brien

Jilly O’Brien is an award winning poet and psychologist, living on the Otago Peninsula in Otepoti, Dunedin. Jilly has had poems published in journals and anthologies worldwide. She has had her poetry displayed on the ice in Antarctica, on beaches in Dunedin, and on the back of parking tickets.

You can find more here; https://www.facebook.com/jillyobrienpoetry/