Maggie Mackay loves family history, winding it into lyrical poems published in print and online journals e.g., Ink, Sweat &Tears, Prole, Spelt, Southlight and in several anthologies, including ‘MeToo’ and ‘Bloody Amazing!’, both winners of Sabotage awards. In 2018 her pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’ was published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books in the New Year, 2021. The Poetry Archive WordView 2020 competition awarded her poem ‘How to Distil a Guid Scotch Malt’ a place in the permanent collection. She is a MA poetry graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University and a reviewer for https://www.sphinxreview.co.uk/. Daydreaming with a dram is a perfect combo. Her Twitter handle is @Bonniedreamer.
Body, my body, a taken-for-granted body, began as dust, will end as dust. My body is knuckle burls, laughter lines, teeth once crooked, now straight with the help of metal and brute force, smile more smiley than before, bone memory tough to beat, knees which crack like wild west whips, eyes still fit to read a good novel, three pairs of glasses at the ready beside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, legs, my strong point, slim and unblemished, save a reddened spot, keep an eye on that…. ears too keen, catch every footstep, car beep, skin, my mother’s gift, clear and soft. My body likes massage. My body likes hugs. My body holds spirit, soul, character. The things folk might remember when I’m dust.
It’s our annual holiday on the wonderful freedom Isle of Cumbrae. Bicycles, country roads, coastline. And there’s the beach. Sand, disturbing, the aftermath of dead things, waves, their gulp, stopping of life, the underneath, slime of seaweed, scum of silt, jellyfish sting, the sinister, wide open bizarre of water; an Iain Banks sci-fi in liquid form. You’ll find me under an umbrella, deep in the fathoms of a book. She’s fine, my Dad assures, my hero. I love sailing.
Out of This World
One ocean wave is a blancmange, perching in a sundae dish. Angel Delight is a real meal. Gulls screech, circle-maddening water, taste the salt in the air beneath seaweed ribbons sand, which is slimy between toes, sticks to skin. There’s the sweetness of candyfloss clouds, airless white-pink, the puff of a talcum powder Nessie plunges her teeth in, a treat at Burntisland’s funfair. She’s disappointed with its sliminess. Spinning, bouncing carousel horses fascinate her. She drops the floss. It flutters across grass onto the path landing in front of a child. Flipping heck, he picks it up, squashing its puffiness in podgy fingers giving them a good wash. ‘Don’t get so excited, his mum says, the runaway bicycle of hope is out to get you. That smile will only make you sad.’ Nessie somersaults over Mars. Trouble is her daughter who only trips her up. Someday, seaweed will be a delicacy. Soggy floss must be delicious, joie de vivre, something a sensible chimp would dismiss, grabbing instead the talcum powder puff to dap its leathery nose and sneeze.