The Refugees

  No one was
alone
  in that sea
of starfish

though few
names
had been
spoken,

tumbling in
empty rain
and rolling
roaring waves.

Clothes, shoes,
money were lost
by the time
the new land

appeared
and the storm
blissfully
stopped.

The moon lit
the sea,
and recognised
the soft, pink ones

as hers.

She gave them names
that could not
be taken or spoken
but were known.

Star hand in
star hand
they walked
to shore
together.

I wrote this poem about five times, all different- I couldn’t settle on one. I hope this one will do justice to something- I was thinking about refugees coming across the sea and thinking about loss and grace and gain all at the same time.

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I Lay Down

I lay down until
I was mostly lichen,
a bare branch,
the bark decayed.

I lay still longer
and I became dirt,
a mushroom digging
its roots through me.

I was bound,
unmoving

until I was
raining

pouring into
the ocean
and I became

undertow.

Drowned in the
taste of
salt,
no color or smell

until the tides changed
and I rode up
on a white horse

and I saw
golden sun
blue waves
and the green
of the shore.

Ah if I knew
this was my fate
I would not have been
afraid to die.

I was inspired by Mary Oliver’s poems- many of her poems- especially ‘Sleeping in the Forest‘. My poem is only a small telling in the face of her gorgeous writing, but I thought it was worth mentioning the inspiration.

Home the Sea

You know this place

where you become

sea kelp,

floating,

hardly solid.

 

You are rocked,

each fear

replaced

by salt kisses.

 

Landwalker,

the moon rules

your veins

and your blood

is salt water.

 

When dry fissures

crack your heels,

hands,

heart,

 

listen for the waves.

 

You cannot lose her,

the sea.

In the shell

of your heart

lies a pearl.

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.

Star-Shaped Grief

She spread
on the surface
of the great green
water,

star-shaped.

Her heart
told a tale
that would crack
land
with its
violence

but currents
softly carried
each secret

to wise depths.

As her heart
bled out

she became
the unbreakable
ocean.

When she gathered
herself,

to return to her world
to keep quiet again

there was grief.

It was not her time
to rest
in the immensity
of natural love

she

star-shaped,

had to walk
the land again.

A Splash of Life

When we rose from the dead,
stumbling and laughing
moonlit shadows
on the sand,

we stubbed our toes
on cockles and whelks
we swooped and cried with
seagulls cartwheeling
in sea break tumbling
onto sand.

Spent, the sea
stretched her fingers
and licked our bones.

She took us out
and out until
we were
moonlight
water
and salt.