Two Marine Poems by Isabel Galleymore

The Evening Shift


matronly strawberry
sea anemone

and this one
some 50’s pin-up


coming in on the evening

the snails
in their ancient
restaurant booths



Octopus Nine Brains


000I think she’s beautiful,
000do I think she’s beautiful000ooo0those Cape Cod girls ain’t got
0000000000000000000000000o.ono combs, haul away, haul –
0000000000000000000000000…..they brush their hair
000000000000000000000000….0.with codfish combs

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.I register
and have her eat 00000000000A species shouldn’t be alone.0000000.0the sound
my mating arm000000000000A species must repeat itself.000000000.of fish
I slip inside her mantle, 0000000000000000000000000000000000.. giggling
behind her eyes and breathing? 00000000000ooooooooo0000000000from their
00000000000000000000000000let’s go
000I live inside the mirror so.00000.I’ll grow another arm
000I’ve no chance of reflection
000and anyway I wouldn’t know000000000O Venus Mercenaria
000which sibling of myself0000000000000O Venus Mercenaria
000I’d name for observation000000000000in your depthy heaven
000because I live inside the mirror
000I’ve no chance of reflection
000and anyway I wouldn’t know. 00000.if she’s the one for me
00000000000000000000000000000if she’ll make little ones of me,
00000000000000000000000000000I’ll let her none me altogether



Isabel Galleymore’s debut pamphlet is Dazzle Ship (Worple Press, 2014). Her work has featured in Poetry Review, Poetry London, and in 2016 she won the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and the Basil Bunting Award. She is currently working on her first collection of poems with an Arts Council grant.

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.