I discovered in this town more than a cliff
Even this jumble of rocks,
these dice thrown down
into a semblance of a path
towards the lighthouse,
knives jerking from kelp to sky
even they have names.
The crones’ fishing spot,
the lopsided rock, the rock
that looks like a cat, the rock that belongs to Hervé,
the one of Louis XVI’s head, the one on which Sarah Bernhardt sat,
the lobster’s hole, the sleeping rock.
Each collective of birds has claimed one or more as theirs.
Names flung which barnacle-stuck;
names passed from palm to palm across the week;
names half drowned and washed up on the beach
with a new tail – unrecognisable to themselves.
Names nevertheless. To be named is to be known
even in passing. That someone once stopped to look at you
and collect you for a bird or a tyrant or themselves.
Claire Trévien is the author of several collections and pamphlets including The Shipwrecked House, Astéronymes (both Penned in the Margins), and Brain Fugue (Verve Poetry Press). She founded Sabotage Reviews and its Saboteur Awards. She now lives in Brittany, France with her cats. http://clairetrevien.co.uk http://twitter.com/ctrevien