Long listed for the WRITE ABOUT WALKING AND LISTENING competition run in July & August 2021
To begin and return over the threshold of the front door.
Placed in a spatial and temporal bardo, the daily loop-walk unspools. An opening into footfall recovered locality. No map, no compass, required.
On the shoreline, listening in to the language of tides: lip-lap-lip, cadences of ebb and flow, wind on water variations. Underfoot, the crunch of tidewrack — a line not made by walking.
The audible is not always visible. At times you can hear salt in the air.
Burnt-orange lichen choruses sing in circles on rock armour.
At the tip of the Ballast Bank, watching the weather arrive like a slab anvil dropping on the Forth. Pebbledash of percussive rain. In days of bright sunshine and languid air, the estuary as glass, when all collapses into a miscible surface of sea and sky.
Occasionally, eerie tendrils of Nessun Dorma drift up the river from a cruise ship, squatting in Rosyth Dockyard since lockdown. A haunting ode to absent passengers, as if to reaffirm existence in stasis, and a time to come again.
A heron descends, barely moving air, pausing time, intent on seeking the littoral margin.
Low tide at the harbour, where runnel streams weave desire lines through silt. Songs of seasonal geese-speech, gulls, curlews, and terns. The bardic yells of rooks rummaging the shingle —crow knows.
The loop is tied. Scrunch of footfall on the gravel path, an avian pipe organ of wheezing wood pigeons on the roof.
The creaking door.
Over the threshold — once again.
Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud, for a chance to win a prize. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.
Read more from the Long List of stories submitted to the WRITE ABOUT WALKING & LISTENING competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 26 September 2021 book here.
Buy WALKING – the limited edition illustrated chapbook anthology of 15 poems and stories inspired by walking and listening €4.50 + p&p
All proceeds go to support future Sound Walk Septembers