-Laura McKee (The poem first appeared in The Beach Hut)
Catching the Chime of Ancient
The Highland road stretches behind us,
its dirt and diesel fumes
forgotten in the afternoon light.
We stand on silver-white sand now;
each grain squeaks beneath our bare toes
like dormice improvising a song.
In our hands powdered stars nestle,
trickling as our feet mark
two intertwining paths on Morar’s beach.
Rowans blow red-berried
in the shimmer of the Small Isles,
sky silent, watchful.
Immense blue and endless sand
still precariously balanced,
weighted by time and fossil.
Published in The Beach Hut
The Sea as a Fever
Inky black splashed beast, slashed by the growl
of a murderer, unleashing his delirious roar
like Heathcliff’s wail for Cathy through wind and fog,
uncorked, murky deep, black as a moor in November,
sting of salt spray, gallop of white horses into hell,
furious waves’ pull-tide wash, shuffle-crushed shingle
drag of human cargo, pitching up of weird beings,
Blackbeard’s grimace, bloodied booty, churned and tossed
one perfect storm, a throw-up like clearing guts of glue.
– Both by Maggie Mackay
The Marine Sonnets
I watch the sea as the sea watches me.
The changing colour of my surfaces,
Waves blown by gust, what my tides, what my sea
leaves on the shoreline of my many faces.
The lagan and flotsam and derelict
and jetsam. Two buoys of my eyes bobbing
anchored in a silt of images mixed.
Always memories waxing and waning.
My inside sea watched by the sea outside.
Speaks to sea beasts moving in my blood.
I rise to where the waves move to imbibe
breath before I dive below livelihood.
The sea is me, I am the sea, watching.
I am a dying sea, a dried up thing
Bios and Links
poems have appeared in Butcher’s Dog, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto, Prole, Obsessed With Pipework, Stand, The Frogmore Papers, The Journal, Poetry Scotland, Poetry Salzburg Review, and anthologies from Smith|Doorstop and Emma Press. She was a winner in the Guernsey International Poetry Competition. Find her on Twitter: @LauraMcKee_fyeh
is an MA Poetry graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University with work in a number of online and print journals and anthologies. Several pieces have been shortlisted, commended in competitions, or nominated for the Forward Prize, Single Poem and the Pushcart Prize Her pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’, 2018 was published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books, is available now. In 2020 she was awarded a place in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. She reviews poetry pamphlets at https://sphinxreview.co.uk (Happenstance Press) and loves to daydream with a dram.(Happenstance Press) and loves to daydream with a dram.