Elisabeth Kelly, This Ice Sea


I feel I am curled up
in the eye of a giant,
light glints makes an iris
out of sunbeams that winks from
the depths of this ice sea.

I forget
for a moment,
that suffocating pressure
keeps me still as bonded molecules
suspend me in a sphere of
solid fluid.

And I wonder,
if I tap a finger
against this lens would
my world fracture into crystal tears
and cry me out from
the depths of this ice sea.


I see her call,
lantern lights suspended
between earth and sky where
land and water merge.

I see,
for a moment
dying wood-rush flicker
in the fading breeze,
shadows moving through the dusk.

And I imagine,
each limb melting into the soaked earth,
embraced by the pull of saturated soil,
as burr-reeds twist in my hair
a garland for the end.

Jenny with the Lantern is a North-East England name for a Wil o’ the Wisp; lights seen above bogland that people used to believe drew you to your death.


You pluck a molecule from the air,
hold the separate atoms in your hands,
nestled in the hollow of your smooth palm.

You stroke quarks, smooth electrons,
glory in the minute ordered detail of
our world.

I watch, seeing nothing but emptiness.

Then you take my aging hand,
hold it close to yours, tell me
about the things you can feel but
I could not see.

Slowly, patiently
you explain your
world to me.

Hands clasped,
we merge our vision,
strengthening our sight
until together we see
our world unfurl.

Elisabeth Kelly lives on a Scottish hill farm with her young family and too many animals. She has recently returned to poetry writing after a life time of reading. Her work has been published by Dreich Magazine, Hedgehog Poetry Press, Green Ink, Fragmented Voices, and Eyeflash Poetry. Her debut pamphlet is due to be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press this year. She loves chocolate puddings and the change of seasons.


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