You can’t quite put a finger on it –
whetted, held up to feel the wind.
Maybe it’s something on the –
lift your head to chase it
– sea spray, that skates across the mudflats and weaves
between the salt-rotten wood-stump groynes.
The abbey –
count the steps: up, up, up,
– looms over the town.
Clouds brood between its ossified remains; a fissured
one hundred and ninety-nine
ship timbers creak as the wind catches stories
through the rain-soaked stone.
The harbour breathes
up, up, up,
– chase it through the steep and narrow streets –
and the waves carry voices out to sea.
Ships draw brushstrokes through the harbour walls.
Maybe it’s something –
chase it through the slate-dark bay
– between the buoys that mark the cobbled roads,
or spliced between the rigging, or a ripple through the
The red-roofed, white-washed houses line the hills
as ammonites curl deeper into sandstone.
Feel the whetted wind.
And you still
can’t quite put
a finger on it.∎
Words by Jemima Swain. Art by Eloïse Fabre.