This is what you gave me,
Salvaged from a memory:
Watching from the headland.
Pointing from the outside in.
You named the rocks,
Sung them in a circle,
Gave them their voice as they stirred in slack water.
Penwin; Morah; Maen Voes.
And those that came rising from the sea,
The finger bones of witches, half hidden in the dream.
Jutting grey geology, jagged trap, grown from slate
And this miracle dead-weight bearing down.
We felt the draw of the tumble-drowned,
Saw the carronade in the churchyard;
Dragged back from the sea
To sit weary, cracked and black,
Watching over bodies in boxes
Paid for in kind
By the Atlantic Transport Line.
Amy Rafferty is a Glasgow-born writer and photographer living in Warwickshire. Shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize and highly commended by the New Writer, she is currently working on her debut collection. Her writing can be found in several anthologies, publications and e-zines, with a little cuckoo’s egg of a poem nestled incongruously in one of Britain’s more benign red tops. She has been published by Magma; From Glasgow to Saturn; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Poetry Scotland; Luath Press and The Mirror. An earlier version of ‘The Manacles, at Porthoustock’ appeared as part of Katrina Naomi’s Autobiographical Poetry: Uses of ‘I’ online course this Summer.