Kay Syrad writerKay Syrad is a poet, novelist and freelance writer. She is currently Poetry Editor of ENVOI. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies and her collection, Double Edge is publishedby Pighog (2012). Her recent publications include a novella, Send (Cinnamon Press, 2015) and an art/text work with Chris Drury, Exchange (Little Toller, 2015).
Afternoon out

I think nothing here, lying on the stones, listening to the water’s twillup on my left and its huhhuhwilla on my right, and at one point, a singing starts up in my head, ‘I stole my mother’s…’; this is after sitting beneath the defences, the wind on my flesh, and walking back past a hedge of noisy birds and a secret message on the long fence: O WPCA/PNSY/LB33/ AK/ Y / 25 x 50 which I find I can translate, later, as:
dress sift wind of I / sails rise must love / I trade loss over fall/
I you /ask love’s more fail / fall is haven / this this all


the gulls follow the ship
the men

the gulls follow
love follows

the waiting is over
the ship is polished
a vision is coming
the new is following
the men follow the new
like gulls overhead
the men are overhead
the ship is overhead
follow the gulls
the grief is inland

words follow the men
the men in white
gulls in white
an island of grief

the gulls race overhead
in white grief
the men’s white grief
follow the white

the men’s white land

the white gulls
held in fear
fear of grief
of having another’s heartbeat
on the white island
grief and fear on the island
with the gulls

too much whiteness
and only the heart
my heart is inland
the grief
the hearts of the men
and the gulls
heartbeat borrowed
or lost

and the men field the white
which follows the ship
as love
and all on the white island
where their hearts are white

and the gulls calling
in the white inland of the ship
and the men’s white hearts
in the ship
on deck
in the loom
all inlaid

inlaid hearts

gulls and men
follow the white island of the heart
all inlaid in the heart

in white

I find white in the heart
[A version of ‘Inland’ was published in ENVOI, (No. 166, 2013).]
Back to The Needlewriters’ Companion