a literary and visual arts journal
Turning Seven at Mor Glas Cottage
A bookcase packed with faded nature guides:
Sharks of the British Seas, ink sketches
of dogfish & porbeagle in profile,
The Collins Guide to Fossil Hunting,
thin, splayed fingers of prehistoric ferns.
A family in strange silence, listening
to the hum of rock, travelling clock of ball
against cricket bat. The smell of fresh paint,
flowers, &, faintly, of other people – past guests.
& my new half brother & my father
speaking German on the patio at night.
From my window: glow of their cigarettes
like distant harbour lights.
This was their lost world: my father’s past;
my discovery, at least, of its textures, ribs
of Jurassic bracken, & the ammonite
my half brother gave me for a birthday
present, one housed in plastic he’d bought
from a local gift shop. Because we’d failed
to find our own. All we’d found was insects,
or, as he called them, for he didn’t know
the word: Animals.
Then my mother hunting for the source
of a draft my father couldn’t feel
while I counted currency of sea-glass,
handed her those salt-washed jewels,
as if to buy her peace. He & she on the patio
with the watermelon I smashed against the stones
when their shouting matched the sea.
& now my half brother & I listening to the roar
of the present: a bedroom door slammed shut.
Screaming wind over solid slate cliffs.