Marion Ashton

Marion gained a Creative Writing MA from Royal Holloway in 2010, tutored by Andrew Motion and Jo Shapcott. Her poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines and a Cinnamon anthology. Her first collection ‘The Threshold’ was published 2018.

Skitter of Wings

We drive mile after mile through Houston sprawl –
a flashing succession of leering signs:
shopping-malls, car lots, eating joints,
to reach the ferry across Galverston Bay. Reeling
in the heat of Texan sun, hassled by screeching gulls
We finally arrive and have this long sweep
of Bolivar Sands to ourselves. Strong wind gusts
in from the Gulf of Mexico, stirs up the ocean,
sends rollers crashing on the beach – to drift back
in rasping sighs. We walk in calm silence,
faces turned upward, gulping salt-spray air,
bare feet squelching warm, damp sand,
approaching a colony of birds: terns, herons,
pelicans, preening and calling in congregation
along the water’s edge. We lap up the display
wanting to get closer – when, as at a gunshot,
they go up as one – an Alleluia of flapping,
a shaken sheet lifted, a skitter of wings
along the ribs – lung-filling gasps as they wheel
the sky and that lone hawk swoops back inland.

Marion Ashton

Skitter of Wings was one of the 5 Highly Commended poems in Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Competition March 2020

The Threshold, 2018, ISBN 978-1-9770342-1-2

Marion at poetry p f
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