Longlisted Poem 2014

Alice Cattley

Saffron Walden County High School, Essex


From where you stand, the clouds
could be the curls of Poseidon’s
beard, sunlight darting through
their filigree like shoals of
golden fish.  You are trembling
in his underlip, a word not yet
relinquished to the waves.

Picture yourself as Prometheus, held
by a blistered fist of rock,
the sea birds black as sails
overhead: waiting still for
news from Crete but scavenged
by the sail-birds’ beaks,
the skein of sinews snapped
that bound your son to you.

(Aegeus was the father of Theseus.  When Theseus went to Crete to attempt to kill the Minotaur, Aegeus made him promise that, if he were successful, he would put up white sails on his ship.  Theseus forgot.  When Aegeus saw the black sails approaching, he assumed the news was bad and jumped into the sea.)
© Alice Cattley

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems