Poems - Issue 3
Issue 3 features the winning and highly commended poems from our Ouse Washes Poetry Competition, which are shown below. The poems were inspired by photographs of the Ouse Washes, and the competition was judged by Clare Best.
1st prize: Rachel Plummer – Spouse
Photograph: 'Sedge Warbler at WWT Welney' by Trevor Goodfellow
Rachel Plummer is a poet living in Edinburgh. She has had poems in magazines including Mslexia, The Stinging Fly and Agenda. She is a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for poetry. Find her at www.rachelplummer.co.uk.
She should have died a spinster.
A hag, like when I found her
hermiting below sea level, unwashed,
her hair full of birds.
She should've stayed stagnant,
heavy with marsh and Ouse. Her tadpole
tongue, her moss, her mouthful of frog.
Her pale skin bog-preserved, expansive.
Oh I won't deny that drained, dredged,
she cleaned up well. That on our wedding day
I saw the horizon in her mud-green eyes
and wanted to flood her
with new beginnings, homes, roads; to populate
her hidden spaces, to open her.
But I think back on her meres,
her veil of damp willow,
and feel the loss
of all those sunken acres. Her
saltwater hollows. The way she came to me,
a sedge warbler in her cupped hands.