Selkie’s Return | by Joanna Gilar

When I was returned

to my limits

There was no moon out

And the stars

lay headfirst in the sea.


I am in space now

in the space

of heredity and sound.

Each billowing

of me

a hundred living lights

in local dark.


I have tried to reconcile you

as the sea slides

its chequered mask

under my skin.


You have given me

These felted words

still raining.


The memory of your clumsy


the opposite of jade. 


The sullen sound

of water

from the smoky hosting shore

A hearthways flame

of diligence and competence



My heart is turquoise for my child

And green for you.

Green as the fronds of sand drunk

sealife marking their

inheritance of hallowed health.


I love you now

Here where I can wish you well.

I watch you make your footprints

on the spangled shore

and go on home.

I sing at them

so that the stars come out

within their porous grains

to seem a numinous

and multiple

thing stood.


Then I return

to the luminous walls

of my blue inheritance

and move

with swimming

the undulating world. 




Dr Joanna Gilar is an academic, writer and storyteller whose work explores the intersection of stories and the wild world. She has a PhD in fairy tales and ecological storytelling from the University of Chichester, and has spent ten years teaching language and literature at Charles University, Prague and colleges across the Czech Republic. Now based in Sussex, she works as a guest lecturer at the University of Chichester, and spends the rest of her time looking after her baby boy, writing about home-making and parenting, and performing poems and stories at venues across Europe and the UK.

Read Reneé Bibby’s review of Selkie’s Return on wildness!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s