Beachcomber – a poem by George Mackay Brown

Monday I found a boot –

Rust and salt leather.

I gave it back to the sea, to dance in.


Tuesday a spar of timber worth thirty bob.

Next winter

It will be a chair, a coffin, a bed.


Wednesday a half can of Swedish spirits.

I tilted my head.

The shore was cold with mermaids and angels.


Thursday I got nothing, seaweed,

A whale bone,

Wet feet and a loud cough.


Friday I held a seaman’s skull,

Sand spilling from it

The way time is told on kirkyard stones.


Saturday a barrel of sodden oranges.

A Spanish ship

Was wrecked last month at The Kame.


Sunday, for fear of the elders,

I sit on my bum.

What’s heaven? A sea chest with a thousand gold coins.


George Mackay Brown


Note: A kirk is a church in Scotland

I like the simplicity of this poem – it’s sparse but descriptive all the same. Lots of room for vocal expression here too. I hope you enjoy it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach

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