Abigail Elizabeth Ottley’s work, mainly poetry and short fiction, features in circa 200 journals, magazines and anthologies since 2009, including The Blue Nib, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Atrium Poetry, The Atlantic Review and (in translation) Pro Saeculum.
House teeters on the cliff’s high edge
looks out across the drizzling grizzled shoreline.
House keeps her head in the clouds
is careful never to look down.
House is stubborn, built square and stout.
Once her feet were planted in tomorrow.
Now the red earth retreats, loosens its grip,
shifts a little more every day.
But House goes on, stares out the weather
hears the grey gulls squabble and screech.
Her blue eyes are dull. Her roof, her stone
know the end of things will come when it will.
Waves crash and roar, let wind have its way
let the elements do their worst.
House stands for all that, endures her undoing
loves her blisters and overgrown gutters
finds something to honour in her damp,
rotting timbers, her long neglected flaws.
House is bold, defiant. She nurses those cracks
that go creeping through her weedy foundations
where small creatures scuttle in the twilight hour
where one day she will open at the seams.
Poem published in Atrium Poetry, 2017
Publications by Abigail Elizabeth Ottley (formerly Wyatt):
The Blue Nib, 38, 2019 (several poems)
Records, Rivers and Rats, ed. Kay Green, 2018, Earlyworks Press (several poems)
Wave Hub: new poetry from Cornwall, ed. Dr Alan M. Kent, 2014, Francis Boutle Publishers
Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories, ed. Simon Million, 2012, Lulu.com
Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet