The Fylde Coast—Kathy Finney

is full of ghosts –
              they roll in 
with white-washed bones 
of cuttlefish cluttering the beach 
              bodies knee-deep 
in surf
throw no shadows
under the moon’s cold lamp
              eyes scan
where oystercatchers shelter 
in sand that shaves dunes 
and dusts fens 
              thud of feet
slap of leather through mud flats
                            slabs of words 
in a tongue thick as calluses
                            scour stone  
slide down slate to 
the brekka-brow
              they named—
their stone-boats face Valhalla

*Poem inspired by the Viking Rock Tombs at Heysham Head, The Fylde Coast, Lancashire

Born in Blackpool Kathy Finney is actively involved in preserving the folk tales, history and dialect voices of her home county of Lancashire. In 2018 Kathy gained a Master of Arts in Poetry & Creative Writing with the Open University. Her work has recently been shortlisted in a number of national competitions including the ‘Frosted Fire First’ pamphlet competition 2021, run by Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She is also published or forthcoming in many magazines including The Broken Spine, online at Words for the Wild and in anthologies, including the Places of Poetry Anthology and Red Letter Openings, the Open University Poets 40th Anniversary Anthology. Kathy has now become a serial studier by day, poet by night and tweets @GradelyLass.

photo by Wikimedia Commons user Antiquary, edited under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license