imageOur second instalment of poetry this week comes from Roseanne Watt a poet and PhD student at the University of Stirling, reading in the disciplines of poetry and filmmaking.

She was brought up in the Shetland Islands, and her work deals with the connection of self and place; her thesis explores the importance of time and interconnection within the poetry of the Scottish Isles and the fragility of cultural memory. Roseanne currently spends most her time split between Shetland and Edinburgh.

Her project Documenting Britain was an enlightening work focusing on the variations found between the two locales. You can see more of her visual art and poetry here.

Bella had the pleasure of featuring her work at the time of the referendum, focusing on her film Sollum. We share three of her poems for you.


 

Lamplight

swarms
on pavements

made mirrors
by the rain,

refracting and
reflecting

the way our shadows
become us,

how our footsteps
crack

like glass,
like skin.


The Moon Jellyfish

We find them melting

by the shoormal, like dropped

scoops of translucent ice-cream,
the same morning

of the old fisherman’s funeral
at the chapel by our beach.
We’d seen the coffin going past
in a parade as slow as shadows

cast by summer clouds,
into the churchyard where
blind headstones watched us
playing daily with the waves.

The beach is filled with dead things.
Except the jellyfish. We know
they are immortal, so when
storms bring them to the shore

it is the saddest sight – at least,
that’s what the fisherman said,
and we’ve always been suckers
for a story told well.

We want to save the jellyfish.
They ooze between our fingers
as we wade out to the shallows,
toss each into the softly

crooning waves. Inside some
are purple crescent moons;
we think they are the girls.
We do not know
the jellyfish are folklore;
a myth we’re offering the tide
to be rejected, that the dead
will continue being dead.

We know only the immediacy
of the light, the morning deepening
into noon – and the jellyfish
returning, dreamily, to shore.


Haegri
(for Stuart)

The day you mapped your bonhogas
out for me, we saw it

curled like a question mark
at the lip of the hill –

and we’d thought it was a trick
of slud-light and lisks

before its unfolding into air,
as though hearing a call

above the swollen burn
you’d named The Waterfall,

beyond The Flumes, The Secret Beach,
the white stacked stones

of old stories we wish to find
some truth in. Haegri,

hillside-sentinel, what took you
from those blackened pools

you’ve spent lifespans watching over,
as though you were looking

for the image of some other
world within your own –

Haegri, what voice summoned you
from your post, abandoning

these places we have not yet
quite returned from

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