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 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
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’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
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
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 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.
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 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
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 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.