I grew up by the sea, on the north-west coast of Scotland.  Shieldaig Bay was somewhat sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean, being about 24 miles short of the Minch facing the Outer Hebrides and, from there, the ocean passage to Canada.  I remember the gale force winds in winter, the sounds of rain on our slate roof, the discoveries on the beaches at low tide: tidal pools, driftwood, and the sometimes appearance of Portuguese Men o' War.  The sea is in my blood even though these days, my 'sea' is the Great Lakes in Ontario.

This piece of poetry is an extract from a much longer work that is still in progress but these few lines stand on their own while the longer work continues to steep.

Of Driftwood and the Sea


Mourning winds and night black waters;

a shadow dances, memories of a dream.

Hands draw back the deeps

moonstruck, though the night

is not yet grown old.

Hanging, silvered in the air,

a requiem for grief soars

liquid, mourning on a minor string.

He dances to the open edge,

grieving rhythms powerful,

on the moon-drawn tides of Spring.

And now, comes the silvered pathway.

​Now, comes the goddess, 

of driftwood and the sea.

Fiona Mackintosh (© April 11, 2015; January 29, 2018)

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