We’re featuring three poems by Pippa Hennessy, Project Director for the Nottingham City of Literature campaign and director of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio.


My Garden, Sixty Miles From the Sea


this is the wrong island


the MS Oldenburg bounds across the Bristol Channel

my stomach churns

an old man wearing blue dungarees

and a dishevelled demeanour

waves binoculars at a pair of guillemots

dolphins fold the waves like silk

the Rat Island oystercatchers shout

welcome, welcome, look at me, look at me

hammers on the hold door reply

we’re here


red wine swells nine voices to climb

torch-beams to the glass-captured moon

a burnished beetle follows me

from the seals’ playground at the tip of Brazen Ward

to Long Roost, where ten thousand razorbills

and eight puffins nest

a dunlin trips over my feet

on its way to the next puddle

skylarks, invisible, fill the sky

five adults and seven children picnic

by the concrete engine block

of a WWII German bomber

I wish the gulls would hush

as a newborn lamb takes its first steps

two puffed-up pigeons huddle and grumble

by the one-roomed cottage where I shiver

and can’t sleep for laughing


I am never more than half a mile from the sea

the sea which is always flat and grey

when I return to the wrong island


Author Bio:

Pippa Hennessy has published poetry, short fiction, graphic short stories and  creative non-fiction in various magazines and anthologies. She is Development Director at Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Project Director for Nottingham’s UNESCO City of Literature bid, and works for Five Leaves Publications. In a past life she was a software developer, but she’s feeling much better now.