Running the shore like ink over paper
Before pausing to crack a crab claw
And gnaw his way through to flesh.
Replenished, he dives,
Melds into green waves.
In honour of this liquid creature
Who twists between worlds
Blending shadow and light;
I must turn my jealousy in on itself
Loosen it and shake it off
Like a selkie’s skin shed onto sand
Then I’ll return to the water
Swim effortlessly, tirelessly, endlessly
Learn to bend the waves to my will
Before I meet him again, one day,
In the sea’s sliding shadows.
Love on a Hebridean Beach
She straddles the hull of an upturned fishing boat,
sunburnt toes dipped carelessly in the rock pool below.
Early morning haze clings to the halo of mermaid curls
framing a face wise before its time. Flicking the wayward
strands behind her ears, her focus travels across the Sound
to the far shore, framed by an outcrop of stark lewisian gneiss,
looming mysteriously, its edges glinting through drifting mist,
evoking the gentle mood of paintings by Peploe or Caddell
On the incoming tide a silent rip current curls furtively ashore,
white spume pulling back fiercely from the rock-strewn beach.
Far across the Sound a boatman is launching his weathered craft;
snaked coils of rope secure the rusty lobster cages to the bulwarks.
As yet he is invisible to her and she to him; only the chug chug
of the reluctant motor audible, groaning as it toils across the inlet.
He waves across to her, shielding his brow with youthful hand,
the allure of her beauty hot in his head, lips plump with promise.
She carves a love-heart in the bleached sand, mindful of the time…
they only have a scant hour of Cupid’s grace for their first tryst.
A frisson of sweet anticipation courses through her veins …
the first flush of innocent love riding high on the morning tide.
Bios And Links
A freelance science writer by trade, Larissa has written poetry and prose regularly since 2016. Notable publications include Northwords Now, Silk & Smoke, Green Ink Poetry, Fenacular, Black Bough Poetry Anthologies, and the Beyond the Swelkie Anthology. She had a poem shortlisted for the Janet Coats Memorial Prize 2020. Larissa is intrigued by visible and invisible boundary lines in landscapes – geological faultlines, myth and reality, edge-lines of land and sea. Based on Scotland’s east coast, she balances her writing life with bringing up her daughters. Larissa is a founder member of the Edinburgh-based writing group, Twisted::Colon.
has six books of poetry published. She has appeared widely in print, in webzines and poetry anthologies, has won or been short-listed in several competitions and her collection ‘Where Flora Sings’, published by Hedgehog Press, was nominated for the Laurel Prize in 2021. Her latest collection, ‘Immersed in Blue’ was published in January 2022 by Impspired Press. She leads a women’s poetry group in Nottinghamshire and takes part in open mic sessions online and in person. She is currently working on a third poetry collection.
Website: https://margaretroyall.com/ Twitter:@RoyallMargaret Instagram: meggiepoet