In Sardinia

by Mandy Macdonald


let me know when you find

the right moment to


your mouth is brown & black & blue-

grey pebbles of silence

hard as boiled sweets

hostile as the inarticulate cliffs lined up

like crested iguanas

as you go northward

through sheep and poverty

no-one gets much reward here. you take

what comes, without comment or complaint.

these rifted rocks are hardly


but what if they split

violent                 volcanic

hurl sparks spit boulders

ignite again

the glaciated desire

that might have flowed like magma in our limbs

the day before yesterday



words and music

tick & drip of time passing     eroding


cliffs and columns, pink

and yellow plaster

love affairs

white & rose & russet

marble stratified

above the beach we swam at

in the inn where we ate

zuppa inglese the night we arrived

a caged goldfinch hopped

bright pendulum

from end to end of one foot by two

of plaited wire

but didn’t sing

the hills rise up in me

bile and honey

liven this parched land into

gnarled vines flowing

breaking like surf

dionysus took ship

could’ve been from here

somewhere in these rocks

there are words

but you have to hunt

for the fracture


Mandy Macdonald lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, trying to make sense of the 21st and other centuries. Her work appears in many print and online publications in the UK and elsewhere. Her first collection, ‘The temperature of blue’ (, was published in early 2020.


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