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

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Copyright © 2010 Katy Walters
All rights reserved

Katy Walter’s Website

forest, poetry, supernatural, West Sussex

An Ode to Kingley Vale.

In Kingley Vale, near Chichester in West Sussex, England, nestles an ancient forest of yews over 2,000 years old, believed to be the oldest living organisms in Great Britain. Above this prehistoric combe stand The Kings Graves otherwise known as the Devil’s Humps. They are supposed to be the graves of Anglo Saxon Kings, and marauding Vikings.

 In the hours of darkness, it is sometimes said that the ghosts of ancient Druids haunt the forest mingling with the slain Anglo Saxons and slaughtered Danes. There are tales of the druids carrying out rituals and sacrifices in the hours of darkness, a darkness within which the trees bleed and change shape moving amongst the ghostly figures of the dead and the living. For some it is a place for spiritual healing, for others a place of dark rituals.

Buzzards have returned to Kingley Vale

Kingley Vale

Kingley Vale treads into my heart,

Its paths of loam roam arteries,

Twigs carve through capillaries.

Falling leaves, sleeve the skin.

Ancient peat, fleshing feet.

Roots grope the hungering breath,

Feeding, raising Sorcerer and Druid.

Slain sacrificial maid long dead,

Leavens the bread of my emptiness.

Ghouls whisper in death stench groves,

Of Wicca, the Priestess, the dagger.

Owl’s eyes light the night, as the raven cries,

Covering terror’s screams and death’s moans,

On stone altar the ravaging Warlock groans.

Moon Mother throws her silver lance,

Elf and fairy, gnome and crone,

Leap and weep in the ecstasy of dance.

The steel ping of the coca cola tin,

Snaps my reverie,

Kingley Vale treads gently

Back into the caverns of my soul

Whispering, forever, whispering.

Copyright: Katy Walters: 1998


Please take some time to visit my website, where you will find a gallery of my art and photos, contact details, and details about the many books I have written.

Katy Walter’s Website