Marilyn Longstaff

December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment


Fragment found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, between the pages of Newton’s ‘Principia Mathematica’

My stuffed-shirt arm weighs heavy on this paper.
My desk draws me here, folds me into the pages,
chains me in the vellum shelves.

I hold my pen and I dip it in the ink.
All I write is this, ‘Dearest,
Mrs. Jenkin’s guest-house porridge lies like millstone grit in my stomach’.

I want to write,
‘My love, yellow and green light shards
stab at the gulf between us.

I think of you in that grey blue waste,
the empty space that strings Craster, Bamburgh, Berwick
the thin line we walked between sea and sand….’

24th August 1919

Previously published in Rewriting The Map (Vane Women press 2003) and Raiment (Smokestack Books 2010)



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