Nine Notes on Slippage


2021 Straid Collection Award  

Nine Notes on Slippage

by Mhairi Owens


Listen to a selection of poems



When Darwin Didn't Discover Morrough








 None of this is new. I was a specimen way back
 when the Beagle berthed at Eileean nam Ban Mora.


Let’s climb the five bar gate and sit with the witch in the hollow of the oldest tree. If we were its cleft heart, we’d feel in echoes the creak of rust and treacle limbs passing, burrowing for the bowels of somewhere else. Not death , but still—mortal as we are—best wear amulets against millennia of root-tangled ancestors. In another world, we’d be limbs lacking aril jackets, our own tongue strange to us—telling of our shade felled for our bows’ long shadows; our lore, its branches, and the saving graces of our fears a fret on the watch of a blameless moon. We’d come to know our coatless selves and swim—up through the swards of earth past the five bar gate. To feel in echoes for our cleft heart. To proliferate.


G………N, Yew, 2052

Mhairi Owens lives in Pittenweem, Fife, and works for a community addictions service, as well as The Scottish Fisheries Museum.

Her work, in both English and Scots, has appeared in various anthologies and journals, including Plough Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Moth, The North and The Rialto.

As well as The Straid Collection Award, it has won the 2021 Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award and the 2019 Wigtown Poetry Prize.

ISBN 9781911132592

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