Stake-Lines i This string of stakes sticking out of solway sand, they are like the ribs, of some great leviathan, that, having spawned, beached itself and died, out of empathy perhaps, with the salmon that its skeleton now traps. ii If I stand here very still, and use an auditory knife to cleanse this carcass of unwanted flesh, I am left with the harsh death rattle of the wind as it scrapes past sinewed rope, and the flip-flapping of the seaweed that clings like dry, dead skin.
Our History Our history, tidal as the Solway, is washed up on these bays and estuaries. A library that requires only our time and inclination to pause and browse. Scattered here and there, revealed at low tide, the nets and poles of stake-nets, are the webs and spines of old books, and the rush of the sea seems but the ruffle of our pages.
Solway Stakenets Waves curl like commas around stakes that stand stark as runes against a vellum sky. Above the murmur of the Solway rise the chants of the Norsemen as they ride the white horses. Low Tide, Powfoot ( i ) At Powfoot The sea is a memory, Shimmering silver On the edge of vision. On the bared sands A horse and rider Gallop to nowhere In particular. It is just An opportunity To run, and run Before the tide turns. ( ii ) Soon enough The sea will come, To wipe the shore clean, Begin again. There are no half tides With the Solway, All or nothing Has always been the way. To know this place Is to read the sands. Horse and rider will wait For another chance.