Beth McDonough

A Handsel

I cannot give like this – 

feel the weight of empty space, 


so, let me add that rowan,

 bird fluttered , with her sunredden

 berries, coped wonders of winters to come,


fused with a bluescent, picked out fresh

in webbed dews,known in rosemary sharped-up dawns,

right through to the song that dusks


Tentsmuir Heath, on this low water, full moon

season, filled with the air leapt joy

pod-curved in dolphins nearby.


To you, who knows nothing of money, I rub

this milled edge twice, turn metal, lore you hope

for all your springs in your journey ahead.


I drop a coin in your purse.



More work by Beth McDonough can be found in Elbow Room Volume Ten

Beth McDonough first trained in Silversmithing at Glasgow School of Art, but after many happy years teaching, she completed an M.Litt in Writing Study and Practice at Dundee University. Much of her work focuses on themes of maternity, bereavement and disability, and is strongly rooted in place and influenced by the Anglo Saxons. The poems she has submitted here engage with a response to contemporary problems, underscored by ancient signs and traditions, tied to places.

She continues to work in mixed media, and her work may be read in Dundee Writes, New Writing Dundee, Northwords Now, Under the Radar, Gutter, and is soon to be published inObsessed with Pipework , the Interpreter’s House, Cake and Poetry Bus.