The season for shrimps
A sign chalked on blackboard
'shrimps second cottage on right’
the names of trees in
Bardsea woods.
I used to know them
I used to know these things.
The name of Bill Stables’ dog
that trotted behind him
as he rode his bike to Baycliff
to catch the tide
the sight of Gillam
padding barefoot round
his grocery shop in town.
I used to know the feel of a
lapwing chick in my hand
taste of wild strawberries
taste of a new laid egg
my dad had found in the hedge
on his way home from his shift
at Glaxo. I used to know
the feel of wind on bare skin
when I ran through bracken
smell of mud its soursalt tang
sound of the buzzer at Vickers
sight of thousands of men pouring
out through the yard’s iron gates
on foot, on bikes, in cars – but
back then mainly on foot or bikes.
Sight of the first primrose
hidden among gorse
on the railway embankment
Nethertown, just by the bungalow
and always a kestrel hanging
on the wind above the clifftop
always the sound of the Irish Sea
always that taste
sweet as a nut
of freshly peeled shrimps
hauled in
loaded onto tractors, driven
over mudflats across the Bay. 
I used to know.


*    *    *    *

Geraldine Green
Geraldine writes, "What struck me about Rachel Carson, and her work 'Silent Spring' when I first encountered it in the early seventies, was her courage in speaking out about the harmfulness of insecticides on the natural world. Not only did she follow her path studying and writing in response to natural history, she also passionately shared her wonder at the natural world which chemicals were - and are still - destroying. She reminded us that we, as animals, are also part of nature, part of the wonder we live and breathe each moment, and if 'nature' is harmed then so, too, are we." 


Bio: UK poet Dr. Geraldine Green is a writer, freelance creative writing tutor and mentor and visiting lecturer at The University of Cumbria.

She has had four collections published. The Skin and Passio Flarestack Pubications, Poems of a Mole Catcher’s Daughter under the pseudonym of Katie A Coyle by Palores Publications. Her latest collection, The Other Side of the Bridge by Indigo Dreams, formed part of her PhD in Creative Writing: “An Exploration of Identity and Environment through Poetry.” Geraldine was a contributor to a book on therapeutic writing - Writing Works. Her next collection Salt Road will be published summer 2013, also by Indigo Dreams.

Geraldine’s poetry has been widely anthologised in the UK, US and Italy and translated into German and Romanian. She has recently given a talk at the Lawrence Durrell Centenary Celebrations in Corfu and presented a Paper on the works of John Clare and Aldo Leopold at The South West Texas Conference, Albuquerque. Geraldine, who frequently performs her poetry in the US, read at WoodyFest, on an extended poetry trip to Oklahoma and Kansas, July 2012.  

You can listen to her reading on www.kpfa.org/archive/id/81889 She is an Associate Editor of Poetry Bay. Geraldine lives in South Cumbria, on the shores of Morecambe Bay, where she grew up. Her twin passions are nature study and poetry.