Organised by

Guernsey Literary Festival

Sponsored by


Supported by

Guernsey Arts

Theodore Cross, Guernsey

1st prize: Channel Islands’ Poetry
Poems on the Move & Poems on the Buses Exhibitions

After Guernésiais

There was a very old language. My mother told me about it. She said her mother could understand it. It sounded like wet clay pounded by a falling standing stone. Everyone who spoke it had lithophytes for vocal chords lichen like little birthmarks on their palms. My mother told me it was beautiful. It sounded like the fields must sound to the beetles. Like the sea must sound to the limpets. It was only ever spoken at kitchen tables my mother told me in rooms populated by smoke with the Galliennes and the Robilliards and the Gaveys. The children all sent out to watch which way the spring tide was turning to stand as bait for the Bodu.