My life as a coble (for DA). A Poem by Marie Marshall.

 

I examine my bones, tibia,

fibula, made new each morning,

as things of wonder

to crawl my fingers over;

*

it has been this way since birth,

a boat launching, clinker-built,

ribs and thighbones my strakes,

that way I can be beached

high on life;

*

humerus, ulna, radius,

from keel to hog to apron,

from garboard to sheer,

the face of each land is beveled,

and the resulting, exulting song

is the little tremor of the water

as I force through;

*

I can’t remember the day

I was first beached,

but it must have been with

the groaning of new planks –

they say boats, before they’re built

exist in a putative sea,

that it is the karma

of the best trees to know chainsaw,

plane, and ocean, to be water-tight

without caulking, to be painted

red-below-white-below-black,

to have a girl’s name;

*

I love wriggling cargoes of fish

and hate fire;

*

I look down on the carvel-built

with their oakum and pitch,

the fast, twisting Lateen whores –

always have, always will;

tarsals and carpals

have taken on the torque

of the currents and undertow,

I tack ceaselessly, new rope coiled,

uncoiled, coiled while I see

white houses cling to cliffs,

white birds describe the sky;

*

drifted in, drifted out,

harboured on a dayglo ball,

bumped and scratched,

the slap of halyard on mast

playing amongst the mathematical

music of the marina;

*

such times of inertia,

barely lifting, barren

in the bob of flotsam,

held against the times

of chop and roll;

*

there is a god of cobles,

half-boatbuilder, half-commodore,

that’s who answers the marine radio;

*

sternum, vertebrae, no heart,

no soul [to speak of], so

when I am beached the last time

I’ll be a perch for gulls,

no shame in that, no shame

to have blistered paint

and a faded name,

no shame at all, nor to forget

my mother who was a tree,

my father who was a rove-punch;

*

the white houses are still there,

voiceless beyond the rattling diesel

and the rasp of tide against the cliffs,

the land is still here, and each day

a different sea reflects a different sky,

there’s no shame in that;

*

the white, broken wake,

the forgotten messages it writes,

there is no shame in that either;

*

up and down, up and down,

ankle to skull, woman to girl,

new, pine-smelling timber

to beached hull, there is no shame

in any of this;

*

sit and sing in your accents,

tell stories, I won’t hear them,

no shame, I won’t want to,

it’s my life as a coble,

not a telling and a hearing of stories,

and that’s a fact.

 
 

Marie Marshall
 

Marie Marshall is an Anglo-Scottish author, poet and editor. Her first collection of poems, Naked in the Sea, was published in 2010 and reviewed in Sonnetto Poesia that same year, and her second collection, I am not a fish, in 2013. Since 2005 she has published over two hundred poems, mainly in magazines and anthologies, but the most extraordinary places in which a poem of hers has appeared include on the wall of a café in Wales, and etched into an African drum at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Her first novel, Lupa, was published in 2012. She is well-known in Scotland for her macabre short stories. Her web site can be found at mairibheag.com. Of writing poetry and sonnets she says, “I did not start writing until 2004, so I am very much a twenty-first century writer. I write anything, any kind of poetry that I feel the urge to tackle ― sonnets included.”

***

robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

Closing Time at Laugharne.Poem.Marie Marshall.Sonnet.

 

I miss you – yes I do, you boozy Celt!

I’ve half a mind to hear you spin a yarn

While you, with pints of stout beneath your belt,

Traipse homewards through the rainy streets of Laugharne,

 From Brown’s Hotel, where we propped up the bar

Till closing time. What’s closing time to me

Or you? Come on ― the Boathouse isn’t far ―

Down to the sloe black, slow, black, crow black sea!

There’s pen and paper ready for your muse,

A bottle, and some glasses for a toast,

We’ll sit, and laugh, and rhyme a while, and booze ―

But, Duw, dear lad, you’re nothing but a ghost!

 –Can such as you go, gentle, into night,

 –Or did you rage against that dying light?

 

 

 

Marie Marshall (1957 — ) is an Anglo-Scottish author, poet and editor. Her first collection of poems, Naked in the Sea, was published in 2010 and reviewed in Sonnetto Poesia that same year, and her second collection, I am not a fish, in 2013. Since 2005 she has published over two hundred poems, mainly in magazines and anthologies, but the most extraordinary places in which a poem of hers has appeared include on the wall of a café in Wales, and etched into an African drum at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Her first novel, Lupa, was published in 2012. She is well-known in Scotland for her macabre short stories. Her web site can be found at mairibheag.com. Of writing poetry and sonnets she says, “I did not start writing until 2004, so I am very much a twenty-first century writer. I write anything, any kind of poetry that I feel the urge to tackle ― sonnets included.”

 

 

This sonnet is pre-published with the permission of the Editor-in-chief from:

 

 

Richard Vallance, editor-in-chief. The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire. Friesen Presse, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © 2013. approx. 240 pp. ISBN Hardcover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Price: $28.00 Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 Price: $18.00 e-Book: 978-1-4602-1702-3 Price: TBA

 

 

300 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian.

 

30 sonnets in this anthology are to be pre-published by our permission in Poetry Life & Times (UK) which has exclusive sole rights prior to the publication of the anthology itself. Readers may also contact Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at: vallance22@gmx.com for further information. http://vallance22.hpage.com/

***

robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com