Mailboats

Mailboats was a project aimed primarily at increasing dialogue between the creative communities in Orkney and Shetland. It sought to stimulate new work by pairing writers and visual artists in a playful venture…

…four poets and four visual artists (Alison Flett & Laura Drever, John Aberdein & Frances Pelly, Yvonne Gray & Colin Kirkpatrick, Morag MacInnes & John Cumming) were paired in each community.  The artists met, collaborated and communicated via email and the Hansel website.  Readings and exhibition were held in Stromness and Lerwick.  The boats were launched from the ‘Pilot us’, two miles east of Skerries in Shetland and, as we write, some have been recovered to the delight of finders; others are still at sea…

John Cumming: Hansel Cooperative, 2008

(Mailboats, playing with wind and tide: ISBN 978-0-9558414-3-9)

Images Laura Drever | poetry Alison Flett.

mailboats-001
hour glass

there is time in this glass
that is made from sand
made from shells
thousands
millions
broken
into
tiny
grains
that flow
together twisting
minutely through this
little hole this mobius strip

mailboat-0130
limpet

the time we climbed
to the top of the mountain
stretched arms wide
merged atoms with the air
shouted our love
into the cloudless sky
had it sent back multiplied
by the mountains
around us

mailboat-sketch-2
mussel

the time in the boat
oars rattling loose in the rowlocks above us
the suck and swoosh
tidal motion
of you
inside me
sending wave after wave
out
into the endless sea

mailboat-sketch-3
cowrie

the time I held your hand
looked down at eyes
so often looked into
now shutting me out
squeezed tight against the pain
as your last breath
swooshed away from you
your last tear
like a wee salty bead
wobbled for a moment
in the corner of your eye
then was sucked back in
where it came from

mailboat-sketch
cockle

the time we sat together
with the sunrise
and I felt deep inside me
the first movements
of our baby
fanning their way up
and out across my belly
pushing their warm rays
into our new day