Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 1 February 2015


The island of Guernsey is divided into a number of small Parishes, each with its own individual character and history.
My own Parish, Vale, along with its immediate neighbour, Saint Sampsons, has an extensive history of quarrying and through the centuries, granite from the area has been excavated for use at home and abroad.
The consequence of these excavations is that there are now a number of disused, water-filled quarries in the area.
These dark stretches of water, many of which are extremely deep, are very much in evidence when walking in the Parish and, whilst some people may well view them as scenic, I find them menacing and
depressingly gloomy.
This narrative poem, with its rhyme scheme a repeating abcacb, is about an imagined suicide in one such pool.   


(Inspired by the water-filled quarries of Guernsey)

Pockets weighted with rocks,
she sinks like a stone, down
through engulfing blackness.
The sudden coldness shocks;
dark water spreads her dress
as she begins to drown.
Steep granite walls surround,
like hands, this black water:
their blunted fingertips,
coarse stone-scarred, cupped around
a pitchy ale. Her lips
imbibe it. Drowned daughter,
she descends through grey seams
hewn by generations
of quarrymen, long dead.
Her ears absorb the screams
of cutting-tools that fed
slabs to loading stations,
harsh shouts, profanities
and laughter, trapped in stone.
In bottomless darkness,
spinning, suspended, she
is free from time’s duress,
constraints of blood and bone,
all that once assailed her.

Years will pass, rain and sure
forgetfulness will come
like longed-for sleep. Weeds stir
her hair. She will become
timeless, unsullied, pure,
assimilated in  
water, stone, and submit
her flesh to nature’s game
then, snakelike, shed her skin,
while those that knew her name
will misremember it.


  1. Very powerful Richard, I like it.

  2. Thank you, John. Drowning in dark water is one of my worst nightmares. Ugh!