Sapphires in a hurry-flutter:
two dozen starlings
rush to Sheppey.
Seaweed garlands roll on the high
moon’s tangle of jet and jade.
The sea cradles me; my
I roll and kick like a baby.
Ripples brush your naked shoulder,
a sparrow’s whisper.
My skin, dulled under hospital lights,
in blustery sunshine.
Twilight wraps blankets of
around this evening’s shoulders.
Sky is honeyed mango slivers,
with pomegranate seeds.
Laughter waltzes with garlic prawns,
jives with olives,
pirouettes with wine.
Between the bowls and candlelight
of perfect contentment.
Low tide takes its muted leave –
marooned while oystercatchers play.
Whitstable, harbour of tangible
peace glides into dock.
Where sea and sky merge in a
aligns the mind’s horizon.
This fresh day. Let’s shuck it
gusto pour between our fingers.
© Rosie Johnston
Picture 10500556, Jacob Foppens van Es, Still Life with Oysters, oil on panel, mid-17th century, image copyright Mary Evans / Ashmolean Museum
Rosie Johnston’s three poetry books, published by Lapwing Publications in Belfast, are Sweet Seventeens (2010), Orion (2012) and Bittersweet Seventeens (2014). Her poems have appeared or featured in Hedgerow, London Grip, Culture NI, FourxFour, The Honest Ulsterman, Ink, Sweat & Tears and in Live Canon’s anthologies 154: In Response to Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2016) and New Poems for Christmas (2018). She has read her poetry widely, including Hungerford Literary Festival, Watford’s Big Word Festival, Winchester’s Loose Muse, the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, The Troubadour, Torriano Meeting House, In-Words Limited, and Whitstable’s Harbour Books. Between 2014 and 2018 Rosie was poet in residence for the Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust, until she moved to live by the sea in Kent. www.rosiejohnstonwrites.com @RosieJpoet