Poetry – Issue 2.2

Horseshoe Crab

by Oonah V Joslin

horseshoe crabs
the sang royal of living fossils are
blue-blooded hemocyanins
copper bottom feeders

under their carapace
like armoured spider-tanks
with many eyes and legs
they invade the beaches of New York
each year generating eggs in
superabundance inviting
summer flocks
that mock their reproductive cycle

it’s the best seafood diner
on the east side

men milk blue crab blood
to test products for toxins
then casually throw them back
to die

there is no copyright
on blue crabs
no blueprint
on endangerment
but in Chesapeake Bay they try

Dust Catcher

by Jane Burn

Spider’s web in the hay barn, sailing its meal of motes
between two bales. Saggy with dust – a hammock
for stalks razed by machine in the thick of a hot September;
delicious with scent. A hermitage for a Charlotte
heavy with eggs.

This one though – deserted. Perhaps her sac was only spun
with fluff, opening to a gasp of empty air.
Tension slack without the pluck of testing claws –
the wind measures a small tear
in this broken home.


by Morgan Downie

easy to fall in love
with words here
make the leap
from linnaean to local

scarf and hiplin
on the headland
between the leap
and dive of maallie

at the sea’s edge,
ebb-fools and sandilu,
while from the grass
the cry of spooie rising

words of weave
wirds o makkin
words to stitch
the sea and sky

yarn and thread
to keep the past
being unspooled
from the present

Shetlandic words:

scarf – cormorant
hipline – shag
maallie – fulmar
ebb-fool – sanderling
sandilu – ringed plover
spooie – curlew
makkin – knitting, a gathering of women to knit

Poet Biographies:

Ulster born poet and writer Oonah V Joslin has lots of work online including 100 horrors in Microhorror and you can find links to most of it at her blog  Parallel Oonahverse. She is currently poetry Editor at The Linnet’s Wings literary magazine.

Jane Burn is a North East based writer and a member of 52. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Butcher’s Dog and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She has been long-listed in the 2014 Canterbury Poet of the Year and National Poetry Competitions, as well as being commended in the Yorkmix. Her work has also appeared in Emma Press and Kind of a Hurricane Press Anthologies and her first pamphlet will shortly be published by Talking Pen.

Morgan Downie is a poet, short story writer and visual artist with limited bird watching skills. He was Sumburgh lighthouse artist in residence in January this year which is where these poems were written. Further details at: morgandownie.com