flickering greys, the sea
silently, chivvies, switching
the soft primrose sand; one
grain flicks position with
another — impossible, inevitable.
the boats are silent- they
cross this expanse at the end of lands
vikings first, then pirates
raid and burn, settle and farm,
netherlanders, flatland explorers,
hunting the new crossings, echo
the dykes and drains- invisible tracks,
eat their way into the soft marshes,
expose the rich peats,
carve and create out of nolands.
inlets creeks and badlands,
for creeping smugglers lands
illicit acts in shifting edges
land of no land
sea of no sea
but the sea can rise,
crawl towards the sky,
the moon cries, desires,
dragging it over land hand made land
energetically, without mercy,
rushes over the flatlands,
washes away the coastlands,
demolishes all in its pathlands,
creates new edgelands —
Catherine Jones is a musician, writer and artist based in the west of England but studied and lived for 8 years in East Anglia, the fens and flatlands of the east coast of England. Living near the coast in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, for 3 of those years really brought home to her how fragile the coastal environment is and how a very small sea level change would have devastating results. Much of her writing harks back to her memories of living and working in an unstable environment. She originally studied music but for some reason became a lawyer for twelve years, during which time she constantly wrote statements and affidavits, not really realising that actually what she enjoyed was telling a story. She rediscovered her need to write while completing a Masters in Fine Art, during which time she illustrated her dissertation with poetry. Since completing her Masters exactly a year ago, she’s been busy writing, teaching piano and singing, making art situations, mixed media pieces and installations, and dealing with two lively tweenage boys. She’s been an environmentalist since she was a child, growing trees from acorns and conkers on her windowsill and worrying about saving the whales when she was about 7 years old.
* This vision was submitted for the “Life plus 2m” prompt at Hour of Writes, which carries out weekly, peer-reviewed writing competitions.