Bowing to the Water by Maggie Mackay



Maggie Mackay loves family history which she winds into poems published in print and online journals. One of her poems is included in the award-winning #MeToo anthology. Others have been nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem ­­­­­­­with one commended in the Mothers’ Milk Writing Prize. More recently, her poem about George Eliot has appeared in the Yaffle Press celebration anthology and another is forthcoming in Bloody Amazing from Beautiful Dragons Press.  Her pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’ is published by Picaroon Poetry. Her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’ will come out in early 2021. She is a reviewer for

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Bowing to the Water




Willow, the short-lived veteran,

peels like sunburnt skin

thinned and shelled.

Bowed, the tree charts

river courses and mill lades

on the Floss and at Juniper Green,

dancing on sunlit breezes.

It is the stuff of tepee, pliant

like soft sand after rain,

a phoenix rising from the earth

stronger reborn, nectar rich.

Planted in withy beds

it is the stuff of living sculptures,

of baskets, domes, tunnels

fishing nets, wattle fences.


Maggie Mackay