The Woman Who Married the North Sea Rachel Plummer

The Woman Who Married the North Sea

Rachel Plummer

The Woman who Married the North Sea

You know what they say about older men.
He was a Viking; bold, black
as a conger eel. He’d been around, been intimate
with the land’s soft edges, dipped his cold
tongue into the Skagerrak.

He brought me trinkets:
jellyfish scattered like spilled pennies
on the beach at Portobello,
delicately weed-wrapped plastic bags,
the rotting carcass of a sperm whale, his foam
white beard to caress my toes.

On our wedding night
the spray was thick as ambergris, the sand
fragile with worm casts.
I kissed his silvery pout.
Across the sea the moon sank
bright as a wrasse at the Rhine’s mouth.


Rachel Plummer has had poems published in magazines including Mslexia, The Stinging Fly and Agenda. Rachel is a Troubadour prizewinner, winner of the Fenland Reed Ouse Washes competition, twice runner up in the Penfro Poetry Competition and placed third for the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year. She is a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award for poetry. She has received a cultural commission from LGBT Youth Scotland to write a collection of children’s poems based around LGBT retellings of traditional Scottish myths and stories.

Rachel Plummer was placed 2nd in the 2016 Flambard Poetry Prize. An anthology featuring more poems by 2016’s prizewinners is available here.