Northwords Now Issue 39

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Charm to re-assemble a jam jug, from fragments of beach leam

by Lydia Harris


(stoneware jam jugs: too commonplace
to be in need of description…
…made of lame or earthenware.  A Fenton)


By the ring,
by the sticky ring,
the jelly-fied ruby ring,
the raised ring on the shelf
in the Hammers passage.

By the ring on the shelf of the passage between
stove heat and beast heat, between lamplight and moonlight.

By the ring on the shelf made of sea drift,
the ring on the shelf made from the side
of a fish box from the Starry Maria, stranded
at Berstness the night fieldfares drowned.

By this ring I summon
these pieces of leam
to click-clack
one to the other,
to rub edge against edge,
to nudge point into gap,
to soften, to yield this scrap to that one.

By the nick-notch grooves scrambling
the sides, by the sneaked-out drool,
the dribble, the trickle from the spoon,
runs to the wood of the shelf.

By this ring,
curl lip to shoulder
and the elegant groove of your neck.
Stand and be filled, spill sweet jam
down your sides, form a ring.
By this ring…