Daniel Roy Connelly, Valerie Morton and World Suicide Prevention Day

Valley Bridge, Scarborough

A quarter mile above the harbour road
the safety fence curls back
the length of Valley Bridge;
wire mesh panels now in place
to foil the opportunist, to kill a spate.

In 24 years 29 slipped these rails, tipping to the light
thoughts senseless to their survivors
from whom they de-coupled in turn over time
to stand upright and fall in league
with the lure of their forerunner’s end.

Here halfway across I sense. It is the best
I can do, though I catch myself
perversely estimating arcs, re-doubling
my grip on the bars. Crumpled Samaritan posters
surround me, numbers to call in feel-good font.

The view is spectacular, everything takes me in:
the Grand Hotel on Scarborough’s rocks,
the pavillioned Sitwell family home,
the salt-snarled trees on the causeway,
the enticing harbour lights. See, here, now,

mine is the mind outside of itself,
shamefully balanced in simple observation
till 29 ghosts call out their woe. How twisted
must I be to perch here high and safe,

to see so straight and far? How low?

Daniel Roy Connelly was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize, a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize and the winner of the 2015 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry. His pamphlet, ‘Donkey see, Donkey do’ is forthcoming from Lunar Poetry. He lives in Rome.


Because You Never Left a Note

I try to imagine how it was
for you – thoughts
clustering as if your head

might burst. Senses muddled,
words stalling
along your chalky tongue.

Loved and familiar faces
fading to nothing –
a nothing that forced you

to the edge of blackness,
unable to smell
a different time, letting

your weight take you over
as dark swallows light
and snow fades to grey.


Valerie Morton has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, and has won and been placed in several poetry competitions. In 2011 she completed an OU degree which included Creative Writing and since then has run a CW workshop with a mental health charity. She is a member of Ver Poets, hosting workshops at her home. Her first collection, Mango Tree was published by Indigo Dreams in 2013 and her second collection Handprints will be published later this year (2015) also by Indigo Dreamssamaritans.


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