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On Doubt / A Pair of Blue Eyes by JLM Morton

On Doubt / A Pair of Blue Eyes

after Thomas Hardy and Emma Gifford

Meeting changed our strata,

the way only a storm at the edge

of an ocean can do.

The way a slump of salt water

in a black cliff hole is a wet metronome

for desire and regret.

Blue milk sea and yellow gorse -

it is possible to be ambivalent

and beautiful at the same time.

Everything becomes an image

of our disharmonic foldings.

You hanging from the clifftop

in search of my jewels.

I should have guessed the houses

were crappy behind the waterfront

where the old lanes run deep, away

from the wind, under the pines.

Stacked tyres, fly-tipped white goods.

We are here for this

moment and we fuck

it up. Instead of making

like gregarious worms

in a world of Sabelleria reefs,

honeycombed in our detritus.

JLM Morton is winner of the inaugural Laurie Lee Prize 2022, and a writer and poet whose work is published in US and UK journals including The Poetry Review, The Rialto and most recently in the multidisciplinary ethnography Living With Water (Manchester University Press, 2023).


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