Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Lost At Sea

Today I got a first proper view of what my new pamphlet with Roncadora Press is going to look like.  And it's entirely beautiful, thanks to the skill and artistry of Hugh Bryden.  It's 4 metres long, folded into zig-zags, with the skyline of Shetland running right through it, and the poems 'floating' in the shifting sea. 

The sea really looks as if it's shifting and has light glancing off it, due to the aforementioned artistry.  This photo is just a wee bit like it.  Hugh has done less sky and much more sea.  But the linear feel is about right.  It's off to the printers next week. 

Coincidentally I came home from work to find a copy of 'New Shetlander' on the kitchen table, sent because they've kindly published two of the poems which will be in 'Lost At Sea'.  Here's one of them.


Dark wood polished by use and damaged
down one side, it’s been
familiar to my touch since childhood.
He must have known its balance
intimately, weighed it in decisions,
fingered the fine milled edges of its eye.
All through his grainy, deck-tilt years
he shut it safe away.   

I learned to tweak with a fingernail
the tiny pin on the metal shutter
which slides back to reveal  
the eyepiece just as
I’m pulling on the casing, shlunck
shlunck, and this
neat cubit passes me
the vision of a sea eagle.

Far back through the glass
a wide grey sea and slant
of rain, a rig of swaying furrows,
medallions of salt, each stamped
by some small imperfection on the lens,
a whorl and ripple that lays
a long century
between my eye and his.

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