A line of jetsam

I’ve spent most of today re-working stories for a competition. I am also working on another edit of my novel. Neither of these are shareable endeavours so I thought I’d give you one of my rare poems. I do like writing poetry, when I can swallow the attendant anxiety that it is forbidden territory. I have done some courses with the marvellous John McCullough and love to have a book of poetry on the go alongside whatever novel or short story collection I am reading at any given time. Recently I have been reading the wonderful, posthumously pulbished, Collected Poems of Rosemary Tonks.  She has the added appeal of a fabulous life-story too.

Here’s a poem I wrote at the tail end (tale end?) of the last, wet, mild, squally winter we had. If you walk on the beach you see what’s washed up.  That’s it.

A line of jetsam

That winter was an endless fury.
Wet winds threw themselves
at the beaches and she
walked a line of jetsam
too high.

Everything gritty with under-pier filth.
Bleached beer cans. Bright blue
rope around bladderwrack,
the puff of whelk eggs dancing
over tar.

The guillemot was a loose-necked rag
of ruined feather and collapse.
Empty eyes stubbed out
like cigarette burns
on its skull.

© Allie Rogers, 2014.


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