Featured poet Finola Scott

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    Featured poet Finola Scott

    St Kilda Post Boat, winter 1886

     

    Select a sheep for slaughter
    …………………an old one, a tough one.
    Remove its slack stomach,
    ………………….clean, eat the rest.

    Fetch driftwood from the rocks,
    ………………a few feet square, not waterlogged.
    Carve a wee boat, a notion
    ………………no need to be accurate.

    Gouge a deep hole, centre square
    ………………..to hold fountain-penned missives snug.
    Seal against wind, water, chance.
    ………………..Inflate the flesh balloon, check for leaks.

    Tie fast to the vessel, kiss to fare it well.
    ……………Consult the tides, take to the shore
    you’ll know where’s best. Watch for skua.
    ……………Throw in your tales, hopes and gossip
    Trust in the Gulf Stream.

     

     

    Teuguise, Lanzarote 1619

     

    Pirates enter on a day storm thick.
    The shutters are snicked too late,
    fincas barred in vain. Heavy sky
    tricks the watchers as sails are furled
    down the coast. Death is here, on the cobbles.

    The raiders twist in corkscrew smooth.
    Flagstones shine sangre-slippy with the spilt
    lives of sons, uncles, friends. Hidden away
    Juana thinks of the old man her father
    has chosen for her groom.

    The women jostle to peer through slits
    in the fortress that squats on the volcano.
    The ground shudders to the whack and
    crack of bones in the town below. Echoes
    rebound in courtyards. Maria and Fayna puzzle

    at the marauders’ blue eyes, bear-fierce beards,
    careless laughter. Juana’s mother pushes her
    into the shadows,orders her to cover her ebony hair,
    hide her jewels. But on tiptoe, Juana marvels at
    the grit and spit of lava on their lips.

     

     

    Maria
    Gran Canaria
     

    Clattering like well worn beads, pilgrims
    still come, perhaps to see the Dragon Trees,
    their barks clotted with blood-red resin. Perhaps
    they come for the miraculous
    Maria, Nuestro Seniora del Pino, taken
    down from the branches where she appeared. Safe
    in her silver shrine she waits
    for supplicants.

    In this town, another Maria, one del Toro,
    donned her heavy lace mantilla, knelt
    in silk and satin to learn
    from her namesake. Wed to Simon Bolivar,
    an ocean away, she thinks on
    La Seniora and her warnings of
    the fierce heat of a firebrand.

     

     

    Pilgrim

     

    Here I am bumflapping
    at the edge again.

    The crumpled gown refuses
    to close, unpainted toes dangle.

    Check my bag – phone, bruised
    antenatal card.

    I think of ribbons tied to branches,
    scallop shells pinned to cloaks,

    of IVF, of incubators.
    Bring the card to my lips.

     

    Flor de la Vida

     

    Madre de Dios
    that poor woman
    that bastard.
    But I’m here, not my usual day but ..
    I saw him in the cantina
    drunk on murals.
    So what’s new? A floosy with him,
    not her slut sister or a usual whore.
    No – a carmine tart
    and Frida pin pained here.
    God forgive him.

    She slumps, a contorted poppet,
    her soul cracked.
    I saw that corset once
    by accident.
    No tequila. She’ll not suckle
    that bottle tonight.
    And she’ll ask. She always does.
    And I’ll lie. I always do.
    I’ll salve soothe her scars, pluck
    milk magnolia, magenta bougainvillea
    to fiesta above that thunderbrow. I’ll fetch
    her easel and she’ll paint herself whole.