Beth McDonough – Of Seiche and Loch Earn

Of Seiche and Loch Earn


I swim across, past Edinample’s crannog, then

return, sense a drift  that needs corrected. Perhaps

the burn that enters from Glen Ogle gives

some subtle push of limbs.


I learn about the seiche –


here, it patterns sixteen hour long sways,

tuned-in with winds,

has freshwater move like tides.


On All Saints’ Day, in 1755, Lisbon’s earthquake

brought her whole Cathedral down, killed thousands, axed a country’s hopes.

In distant Scottish lochs like this,

seismic seiches were observed.


1914, in Sarajevo, one Archduke lost his life,

and still we souls, who tenant footholds

in our shared world watch,

wonder, fearful, in this geometry, see

oscillations rock in Palestine.



Beth McDonough has a background in Silversmithing, and continues to work in mixed media. She often writes on the subject of a maternal experience of disability, and finds poems walking, foraging and swimming in Scotland’s cold waters.


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