Water birth

Fiona Lindsay

24 September 2020

Eleven Poets for Eleven Days

Wigtown Book Festival has asked Hugh McMillan, one of the Scottish Poetry Library’s Champions and a nationally respected poet from Dumfries & Galloway, to curate ‘Eleven Poets for Eleven Days’ for our 2020 festival. 

A poet from the region will be introduced daily, here on our website, along with a video reading of their specially commissioned poem. 

Fiona Lindsay is the first poet in the series.

Water birth

When I was a child I became the sea
Holding my breath below the thunder
The throw of waves
Sanding down my elbows
I imagined my skin mixing with the sand
Whipped away with dinosaur bones
I was rung out by the tide
And my hair was sucked out by the sea like kelp
I opened my eyes; ignored the salted sting
The sun threw javelins of light
Illuminating particles of gold and green
I want to taste them still
I imagine breathing in ancient waters
The untold power that would bring
My lungs would fill with taffeta waves
My fingers would turn to sand as they play a concerto into infinite blue
hands round my shoulders
The water runs from my ears
A shrill orchestra of gulls
Air forces open my lungs
My lips part to drink in salt

“Stop disappearing under the water;
It’s not safe”

But the spell is not broken
I have water in my eyes
And the power of the sea
In my soul.

Fiona Lindsay

Fiona Lindsay is a writer living near Newton Stewart. She is interested in human connections to nature and city life, in our interpretation of self and of relationships.

Fiona is a teacher and new mother. In 2020 she was shortlisted in the Wigtown Poetry Festival ‘Fresh Voice’ category.

In Scotland you are never more than forty miles from the sea. It informs us, delights and saddens us. Fiona has moved from the North Sea to the Sulwath, or Solway, but you can tell the sea has never left her. Here she reads ‘Water birth’, a beautiful and evocative hymn to life and the sea.

Read more of Fiona’s poetry.