60 Degrees North

Mousa Sound, Shetland

Once I slept in a box bed
(too small for comfort)
lay by Helsinki, Petersburg, Ottawa,
snug under knitted squares,
watched peats glow through wooden doors
cut with crescent moons.

Baskets of yarn in island dyes –
lichen, bedstraw, woad and weld –
drew shadow patterns in the flickering light.
My pillow smelled of smoke.

After supper, I watched storm petrels –
dark wishbones in the dusk –
skim home across the Sound
the distant broch louring
black with secrets.

Next day,

I woke to sun,
six seals on the stony beach
oatmeal porridge made with salt,
box bed doors an open book
to someone else’s story.

Lynda Turbet


After decades teaching in Scotland and the north of England, Lynda Turbet now lives in rural Norfolk. Her work has been published in online and print journals, and anthologies.

© 2020