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Picture 12920315, painting by Hunter Wood, image copyright Mary Evans / Pictures

Windsong, for my mother
by Sarah Doyle


Forgive me those times I slipped my moorings:

the safe harbour of your arms, your kitchen

table counsel, the soothing reassurances.

How stealthily it blew, that breeze, a ruffling

of surfaces so gentle we barely noticed

its muffled soughing, tugging imperceptibly

at hems and hair. I had strained at my tethers

more than once but had floundered, sought

again and again a return to calmer waters,

the depths of love in your sheltered shallows.

But the winds birthed storms that mithered

at my bow. Sails ballooned with a creaking

of canvas and rope, the cargo you gave me

still stored in my hold: belief, courage, hope.



© Sarah Doyle, (m)othersongs, V. Press 2023

Picture 12920315, painting by Hunter Wood, image copyright Mary Evans / Pictures Now  Collection

Poem taken from (m)othersongs, V. Press, September 2023


Sarah Doyle is the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Poet-in-Residence. Her poetry has been published in journals including Spelt Magazine, Wild Court, Under the Radar, Atrium, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Mslexia, Finished Creatures, and The Lonely Crowd; and in anthologies from publishers such as Broken Sleep, The Emma Press, Paper Swans, Shoreline of Infinity, and Places of Poetry. Sarah won 1st prize in the Ver Poets Open Poetry Competition 2023, was highly commended in the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 2023, and was longlisted in the National Poetry Competition 2022. She is a former winner of the William Blake Poetry Prize, the Wolverhampton Literature Festival poetry competition and Holland Park Press’s Brexit in Poetry; and has been a runner-up in the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize and Essay Prize. She was highly commended in the Best Single Poem category of the Forward Prizes 2018, and selected for Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2011-2020. A pamphlet of poems collaged from fragments of Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals – Something so wild and new in this feeling – was published by V. Press in 2021, and her second pamphlet, (m)othersongs, was released by the same publisher in autumn 2023. Website:




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