In the Beginning We We’re Drowning – 2020




This poem was written after I had seen one of my favourite films, 'I Know Where I'm Going' at the opening night of the London Film Festival yesterday. The legend of Corryvreckan is central to the story. Corryvreckan is the most dangerous area of water in the British Isles, located between Jura and Scarba in the Inner Hebrides. The Gulf of Corryvreckan has a tidal race that creates the third largest whirlpool in the World caused by a combination of the tides, a deep hole and a pinnacle. I visited the whirlpool by sea many years ago and was struck by the eerie atmosphere surrounding it. Seeing the film last night where the whirlpool is one of the central 'characters' and traveling home in a very quiet London, still reeling from Covid reminded me of the silence, of the deserted streets as Covid hit our island, and the feeling of drowning. This poem is an evocation of how it felt to be in that silence.

In the swirl of the sea
Bubbling up to the surface
The shore is far away

The Kelpies are close
And the mermen call from
The depths. Floundering,
I hear the distant rumble
Is it thunder?

A rush
The swell
The waves a strange stepped
Green, dark to the depths

And it feels like
I will never reach the
bottom. I will
Keep on falling

Falling, falling.
No sea creature to catch me
As the sea takes and meets

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