Copyright © Pendas 2017
the oldest submerged town site'
Now we know how their world
ended, not just with the seismic shift's
tweaked foreshore, houses tipped
down to the shore-edge,
slow encroaching waters --
the sea lapped foundations,
and crept into cellars until
empty and derelict, they were
Here, right now
a road's shaved by a sheered cliff,
and a house hangs by threads
from the land's burst jaw --
wriggle space for us in the displacements
of ancestors, who took with them
just a fat wad of stories --
and left behind
their best guest pots and chalices,
and tiny house graves
picked clean long ago, by molluscs
and other bottom feeders.
Published in the New Statesmen,chosen to illustrate the EU marine boards 10 year report on the seas and climate change, “Land Beneth the Seas”.
This was presented at the EUROcean conference in Rome, October 2014, with a short comment on climate change from Olivia Byard.
Collected in The Wilding Eye 2015.