fishing, history, poetry, reading

No Requiem for the Fisher Girls

Winslow Homer: The Fisher Girls on Shore, Tynemouth

1800s and early 1900s, 1000s of girls employed as fish gutters, followed the fishing fleets. The work was long and hard, the girls gutted the fish and the “guts were taken out with a very sharp gutting knife. Their fingers were wrapped in “clooties” – bandaged cloths to prevent any knife nicks – but they endured painful sore hands. 


No Requiem

Moonstone mounds of herring,
Quiver,
Torn from the belly
Of the Sea Mother.
Her baldy rolling, groaning,
Bleeds,
Foam fingers clawing,
Plead.

The herring girl,
Slits the guts.
Fish eyes pale,
Beseech,
Steel flick of entrails –
Fish eyes flat.
No requiem for them.

The stench of fish, her breath.
Beauty weathered.
Bright eyes tired –
Girl's eyes flat.

Her dreams float with
Dead fish in parsley sauce.
No requiem for her.

Winslow Homer – Fisher Girl

If you have enjoyed this content, then please browse my website and blog posts. You will find information on my many books and even a gallery with photos and slideshows of my artwork. Love, Katy.

Copyright © 2010 Katy Walters
All rights reserved

Katy Walter’s Website

history, poetry, supernatural

Ode to Benbulbin

County Sligo, Republic of Ireland. 

A Table Top Mountain

The first sight of this incredible mountain in County Sligo took my breath away. Later some miles distant from Benbulbin, in a stone cottage, sitting by an open log fire, I wrote this as a homage to an awesome natural monument.

Benbulbin was shaped by moving glaciers 320 million years ago. It is a place of history.  and legends. Benbulbin was said to be the hunting grounds of the Fianna, a band of Irish warriors of the third century. Legend has it the giant Fion mc Cumhaill (Fin McCool) tricked the demi-God, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne into fighting an enchanted boar, whose tusk pierces the demi-god’s heart. The mountain is believed to be the resting place of Diarmuid and Grainne. 


Ode to Benbulbin

Ponder Benbulbin

Yonder over Sligo,

Through clouds pewter dark,

Menacing.

Your brow,

A thousand foot fall,

Black, bulbous,

Thrusting through Winds that shriek,

At your Silence.

Waterfalls rage

scything bones of granite,

Sculpting jaws,

Jutting through mists.

Forests beard your face,

Mirrored in lochs,

Diamond bright.

Our car a speck

On a fly’s wing,

Droning on your skin of stone,

Gouged by the tears of time.

The might of your girth,

Grounded in Heaney’s bogs,

Feeding your arteries,

The blood of ritual

The sacrificial skull

And in your shadow,

Yeats sleeps,

Your presence,

His sanctuary,

Lest others tread on his dreams.

Oh Benbulbin, Benbulbin

BenBulbenSnow

Copyright 2010  Kathleen Ayres /Aka Katy Walters