Mayfly Rising by Sarah Westcott





Sarah Westcott is a freelance writer and former journalist, currently working as poetry tutor at City Lit in London. Her first collection Slant Light, published by Pavilion Poetry, was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes and she is working very slowly towards her next book. Her pamphlet Inklings was a Poetry Book Society choice. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEMand Magma, on beermats, billboards and the side of buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry. Recent awards are first prize in the London Magazine poetry prize and the Manchester Cathedral poetry prize. Sarah grew up in north Devon, on the edge of Exmoor, and lives in Kent with her family.

















Mayfly Rising






I dreamt of air’s    blue    space

I swelled and sank in silt

I dreamt of          wings     folding and rising

I knew there was more    

I knew the glory of reaching into my body

to pull out fineries, silks,

my delicate whisks

I was    naiad    and I knew

      life would fan into a single haloed day of brightness

the air tinny and friable,

that I would fly       on the narrowest silver threads

between the river bed and heavens

where I am written of.


That I am called imago.


     I spin between earth and heaven

my guts are filled with air

my mouth is sealed

    I trail eggs like       falling suns

dip to the water’s skin

and bend my face to its coolness

     I am burning myself out      with beauty

I cannot bear

my body is diatom    pellicle

        my limbs threads


Light falls through the weed

river is mother, father, blood-mouth, mind

rising towards comprehension —



Sarah Westcott


First published in Nature & Sentience, Corbel Stone Press, 2017.


Filthy Little Stream by Sarah Westcott