“In another time, in another place,” “The walking fish” and “Under the bone”

Issue 23 by Marie-Louise Eyres

In another time, in another place

we drove along the coast

the headlights picking out

ancient trees like druids

in the night speed

with Astral Weeks* swelling inside

the car, inside my ribs

the music led us with flute and strings

into the thrilling dark –

I can’t remember a single word

he may have uttered that week,

but I recall the scent of mornings

baking bread from scratch

with the warm yeast of a holiday let

and our skin, getting caught in brambles

that scratched my ankles to blood,

blood bedded into the hedgerows

woven through the lane

down to the sea where my uncertain steps

over the dark, wet rocks, like sad lyrics

echoed the brief fragility of it all,

and I lied about his words,

I do remember something said

about bicycles and spoons,

maybe slipstreams.

*Astral Weeks, a song by Van Morrison

The walking fish

The girl with the saggy socks gathering around her ankles and a billowing red linen
dress, walked her fish on the end of a long string. The fish stayed in the ash grey sea
and the girl, on the flat sands of the beach. The string did not garrote the fish, or
dishevel his silver-green scales, it stayed loose around his neck, so when he’d had
enough of the girl and the walk, of watching her dark hair flying up in the salty
breeze, he just slipped out of the string and swam away behind a rock then out to
smoky waters.

Under the bone

My skull is thin as twice an ostrich egg,

a finite orb. But buried dark and thick

a universe of tiny stars sits cheek

by jowl beside grey matter, like blinking

fireflies in the branches of a pine tree

after dusk. This is no special magic.

With tempos of waxing moons within me

they reach out with fine tendrils, in secret

they pull twitches from toes, electric eels

sending bolts, snaking into the limits

of a deep-set optic nerve with lightning

making one world into double vision.

Within my dreams these stars keep me spinning

but on days of MRI they’re quite still

as the rule for photos is strictly no dancing.

About the Author

Marie-Louise Eyres

Marie-Louise Eyres is a British poet living just outside Washington DC. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport poetry prize and long listed for the 2018 Myslexia poetry prize. Her work has appeared most recently in Cathexis Northwest Press (online) and in Ink, Sweat & Tears (online). She edited FABRIC an international poetry journal and has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. She can be found on twitter via the handle @obladioblada68.