Storm Petrels

Hello readers,

I have a flash fiction story up on Page&Spine magazine this week. ‘The Freedom in Me‘- read it for free.

And tonight’s poem- Storm Petrels. Thanks for reading these and may you be safe through storms.

Black petrels,
knife-winged,
sear through
storm clouds,

breaking the
sky
with flight.

We, softer
must stay,
wrapping our
arms and legs
entwining
into one
starfish.

Great wails
of wind and the
sea overturned
carries unknowns
across our
fragile shelter.

Between tridents
of lightning
and the blackness
of oyster-deep
pearls

we press our
hearts together
creating a moon
between our hands
fingers pointing
north.

Along with
driftwood, kelp
and shells,
the petrels land
in a bright morning.

We, soft, stand
on shore
and begin our
flight

hand entwined
in hand
pointing north.

7 thoughts on “Storm Petrels

  1. Lovely to stand beside you and envision them – the storm petrels – scything into the indigo sky.

    One word particularly interests me and I wonder whether you used it deliberately: “lightening”.
    “Lightening” as in “becoming lighter”, rather than “lightning” as in “thunder and…”?

    May you fly to your own true north and find peace at the eye of the storm.

    • Oops. That was a result of bad spelling I’m afraid! I meant lightning. Thanks for catching it.
      Have you read Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean? The beauty and harshness of the sea comes through, as do the lives of many birds both mystical and commonplace … I loved the wild feel of the book.
      Thank you for the introduction to Mother Carey. I feel we have met, though I didn’t know her name.
      Hope you are relaxing and growing in your found North.
      Love.

  2. loved this storm petrel poem. my favourite birds, i think – not that i’ve ever seen one. very evocative poem of them, of the sea, and of love. recalled someone who i’ve loved for some while but to no avail – or even ‘minus’ avail, in fact, it seemed – until finally a meeting, a beginning of something, perhaps, we met on 25th november, the day this poem was posted, though i’ve only read it now (17th december), the poem springing into life memories of things that have happened between us since 25th november, as if a whole love affair has come and gone in that time, albeit the length of a storm, in the end, not that it was even a love affair, but at least love was expressed, finally, deeply, and in this moment it feels as if it’s encapsulated within this poem – as maybe for you, too, the author of it, a whole experience or relationship is maybe encapsulated within it.

    • Arwen, the storm petrels have struck me since I read about them and many other Northern birds in ‘Where the World Ends’, a book for young readers and very strong- if you’d like to borrow it seeing as they are possibly your favourite birds let me know- you might like it. The poem to me does express a whole ‘moment’, a meeting, coming together, pointing a way and finding a way out of a storm. It is uncanny that I posted it on our day of meeting, though I always wait a few days or weeks before posting a poem- the 25th Nov is not when it was written. It is not about one particular moment, for me, just the ‘moments’ I’ve had like that, the weaving with another through a storm, as if waiting out a hurricane and finding strength and solace in the other during it. Dancing was on my mind, and contributed to the poem- dances I have had with others that felt much like this. It has been lovely to share a heart space with you. Hope to see some of your deep and insightful poems on here one day …

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