Sunday, 12 May 2013

Son Of The Sea

It started months ago,
seasick feeling right about the time she missed a course,
tossed and turned and worn out and thrown overboard.

And shiny, straight hair gone,
damp and ragged wild curls,
fitting - he said - of a shipwrecked girl lost in a storm.

Washed from bath taps gold,
heavy, solid, huge and old,
tub with feet and brimming over salted water flow.

And she a fan of fish,
silver scales and tail to twitch,
these days from the outhouse freezer they ate little else.

In a garden overgrown,
pebbles, driftwood, paving stones,
foam and seaweed glimpsed through cracks where only grass should grow.

And sand blew under door,
narrow hall and tiny porch,
battered, dusty, leaded windows looking to the shore.

Their home,
dark at night and built of stone,
edge of land and edge of life and edge of all she'd known.

Love or lights or who could say but something brought her north.

But she feared that to come,
9 months gone and kicking limbs,
hope and pain and mother love and all unknown things.

And a gush - like waves,
throw you up and toss you down and lift you once again,
home and warm and safe and dry seem very far away.

Violent - bloody - pain.
If you live you never wish to know its like again,
flounder then and cry out loud and push and grasp your way.

To newborn wails,
fists and feet and angry face,
flesh and bone and life and love and sea and stars and grace.

Sailors son born safe to shore in howling wind and gale... x

N.B. My 'Stories Of The Sea' posts are entirely fictitious and are my current, early attempts at story telling. My own son was born in a warm, safe and brightly lit hospital theatre.

Thanks to my talented workmate Colin Millar for the use of his beautiful photography. You can find Colin at Three Zero Photography or view more of his work on flickr.


  1. Brightly lit hospital theatre or not, it is as violent and evocative you describe! beautifully worded.

    1. It is isn't it? A means to an end as far as I'm concerned...

  2. A beautiful piece as always; creating such resonant imagery.
    Voted in BIB, but could easily have added a vote in several other categories also.

    You have a real talent.
    Cheers, ic

    1. Thank you Ian you always leave such kind, supportive comments x

  3. Really evocative, very raw.... no matter the setting, birth can be a very violent and bloody process! X.

    1. Absolutely - nothing prepares us for that! I'm glad its an experience I don't have to repeat again...

  4. Fabulous Helen, you are so very skilful, everything you write releases my imagination. I do truly love your work and I would love to see you published, because my word you deserve it x

    1. Thank you Nichola you are so supportive of me. When the novelty of writing wears off and I start doubting myself I will come straight to you xx


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