Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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by Cáit O'Neill McCullagh

We comb them, drift-matter, flotsam In the wake of home faering
the sadness upon them our mothers, breaching every ocean
ribboning our fingers their savage magnificence filling horizons
where the sea forgets herself. metal-luminous and impossibly blue.
We frantic-wrap them, ringlet our wrists. They were always too far out
Not the shore cleave of dulse silver-distant in the fish-milled grey
this kelp is deep-sea frayed colossal cosmologies of mammal and mar
gathered tangles brine barrelled and lidded with memory
between the mother waves’ returns flesh cured for the days of hollow
father fragments, goose-barnacled ivoried fat pressed to pallid lips
breast-close clasped in kishies too rich, a feast gulped in gasps
then scattered over parched parks. every oil-cold drop drained
These uncanny hauntings nurture harvest to remake our earthy selves.
Da! Cry it across the haar? Orphaned, the cormorant keens the ebb.

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