West Coast

West Coast

I paced the beach a lot as a teenager,
supposing it was a way of being lost,
going lost, finding my lostness
in the sound of the waves, seagulls
in the eaves of a sky cast black
by fire and onyx.

There were shells stuck in my skin,
bits of them sharp and ridged as glass. Adolescence.
Bottles of Bacardi and Glens
in remnants of lovelorn summers—
each one dug deeper as I walked
and I felt the call of the sea
like a summons. Come back to me

—the waves were strange consolation.
I loved
the loneliness of the sea, its sense of otherness,
of distant worlds, blue and green.

Salt spray
in the faces of children;
sand dunes
where we gathered for drinking and smoking,
wasting time
in the dry ice of shared menthols.

You dig your heels deep
by the shoreline, where your feet sink soft
through the mulch of watery sand,
sinking as if to drift down,
to ease yourself out of matter.

I paced the beach a lot on weekday evenings,
while cars passed behind me, while
normal people went home.
I learned to love
the gulls that croaked on the rocks,
crying cormorants, gannets
and black-feathered auks—
I always longed to spot an albatross,
imagining its body swooping
out of the sea fog
like an omen.

I thought I had forgotten these shores,
the way it felt to know nothing
of what would come; great drawings
dissolved in the tidal pull—come with us.
I thought this world was lost;
I thought
I had lost it all.

by Maria S.

(prompt: seagull photo)

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The Grene Man

Quha douttis thair ane twa een;

Forenicht I had wanderit in ane midow grene

And thair I meit ane unco littill man,

Quho was dancin as he can.

Me thocht him the king of farye

And he sade “Cum with me.”

I haid herd of riches littill men kepe

So I followit him to tha forest depe

Me thocht sevin year the journay tuke.

Quod he “A gift to ye I’ll give but ye maun no luik”;

Me thocht he micht gif me a jasp

So I held oot my haun to clasp.

Bot than I herd a laff fra the littill man in grene,

And quhen I darit to luik, he pluck’d oot baith my ene.

 

By H.R.

(prompts: green man picture, passage)

Forest

Forest

The trees are knotted
in the spot where the bluebells grow
in June.

Gnarling, their roots twist
into strange, exotic shapes—
Spirals and triangles, spikes
like barbed wire.

We used to sit here
as children. We knew the notch,
the dark hard eye,
the tender part which you cut
to get the sap out.

Everything here is a cycle;
there is no flow of time,
no regress or
degeneration.

In summer the frost fades
to forget-me-nots;
through the canopy, long
into the evening, light lingers
in splinters and sparkles.

So I return;
the trees seem to whistle.
You hear their singing, its softness
like pining. Walk with me.

The greenness changes with the seasons.
Now I look upon it,
these tufts of grass, these oak leaves
glow with yellow fire—
chocolate, chestnut, cinnabar.

I look upon the colour, my fingers
scratching the eye. Its hardness
comes apart like ice.

I stare into that black spot,
the cavernous passage laden with frost,
the eye like a moon.

In the copper of twilight I see you again:
grass in your hair,
bluebells in June.

by Maria S.

(Prompts: green-man.jpg, passage, degeneration)

The Crow Rr’karva

The Crow Rr’karva
Ailsa Williamson

English:

A crow sat high on the wall
Cawing so loud, all heard his call
People looked up from field and road,
Wondering what terrors he foretold
Times and change and times of woe
Lips parted, expressing pure sorrow
But as they listened to his echowing caw
They realised he was not calling to them at all.

Gengen’vor (language in development):

Karva mea’di sha kakata rr’ethr
Korvok’ni kat’val ranna mesh’di lelne efat
Enepis pepe’di volk komp sharat e megmali
Ava’ni ven tandes lel vanashika’di
Garshais me’draka e garshais me’falhi
Banies govo’di lelami’ni finita falhi
Ta’a as lelnn bane’ni ot lelne korvok
Lelnn pafi’di lel gm’di nen efat’ni ot lelnn nen ranna.

 

(Prompts: crow, lips, change)

The Distant One

I remember so little   of the many lives that I have lived.

The sea-wide echoes   stray in distance,

And return to the shore,   telling stories I have forgotten.

Were those my tales   that thrummed over the waves,

And reached the edges   of the otherworld?

Those plundered dreams,   like pebbles in the surf,

Have a smoother face   when seen anew,

And seem no longer   such a load to bear.

If in another land   a lone figure walks with purpose,

Let it be her   to whom the whispers speak,

For she is in the newer life,   and should I forget all,

The distant one will live,   and I will die gladly.

 

By Rachel Norris

Prompts: memory, distance