Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Saturday, 6 September 2014


Prior to the Literary Festival in Guernsey each year, the local Arts Commission runs an international poetry competition where winner and runners-up have their poems displayed in the Guernsey bus fleet: a format similar to Poems on the Underground in London. My poem, The Exile, was one of the successful entries this year and is currently trundling round the island being read by visitors and residents alike. For various reasons many islanders find themselves working and living elsewhere but most return to their birthplace from time to time, drawn by a feeling of belonging. This poem is about one such exile.


A taxi hurries through lanes
of green-banked-granite stillness,
its hunched driver taciturn, sullen, 
solidly steering a wheel that turns
right then left in a vibrancy of air.
Suitcase on knees cradled,
his exile eyes see-saw 
from London-grimed leather 
to primrose banks at every turn.
Falling in love again, he marvels,
at salt in the wind, small cottages,
a tortoiseshell cat by a blue post-box,
at the lost Lilliputian scale of things
that once appeared 


  1. Or as my mother said to me; "Well dear, we all come home to breed"

  2. ... like salmon! Thanks for the comment, Yasmin. Good to know that there are readers out there.

  3. Whatever the reason, it's good to come back to your roots.