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Hilary Hughes

Mr Oystercatcher

Oh Mr Oystercatcher, with your orange-red bill
and long scarlet legs; you make your way along
the shoreline, piping your call as you go.

Is it because this is your land, your territory?
Because you have young, safe in their nests?
Or because this wide stretch of cling film water
is yours, is yours to wade in, to fly over, to hunt from?

What right have I, in longing to stay in this place?
Today’s a new day, time to move on, discover, rest, reflect.

As a small parcel of seaweed floats north with the tide,
and you, Mr Oystercatcher, resume your wading, feeding,
I thank God for this special place and offer it to Him,
… and to you, Mr Oystercatcher!

 

 

Hilary is a North Yorkshire-based writer and poet whose passions are: faith, family, linguistics and language, landscape, people watching and travel; her writing is infused with these.

‘Hit the Ground Running’ was published in 2013. She has co-written/contributed to other collections. Her new book, ‘GASP’ is released later this year.

Penny Sharman

tide line

I know it’s constant
the ins and outs of flotsam
driftwood, plastic bottles,
neon fishing lines,
all coming at you
day after day
gagging sea turtles and angel fish,
night after night
garbage for a mermaid’s ritual,
the concrete groynes
piling up on the sand
a beachcomber’s Mona Lisa.

I know it’s constant
wave after wave
all coming at you
beating thunder to shingle,
but everything shifts
with this constancy,
a paper origami boat
lost at sea
white cliffs beaten
cat fish and molluscs
every rock pool surrenders
to the mighty
that inevitable drag
that phrase
water will always find its way.

 

 

Penny has been writing poetry for over 15 years, she has just completed her MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. Penny has had several poems published in magazines such as The Interpreters House, Obsessed with Pipework, Beautiful Dragons, Outburst, Picaroon, Poetry Quarterly and others. She is an artist and photographer and complimentary therapist. Penny has taken part in many poetry residential courses with Arvon and Ty Newydd and is a member of several poetry groups.