70 Stories

#6 Shoormal

‘I love the salt edge in your smile, the lilt in your voice, like a song.’

One of the shortlisted entries in this year’s SMHAF Writing Awards, Shoormal is a short poem by Aileen Paterson – the title is a Shetland word meaning the point at which the sea meets the shore.

I love the salt edge

of your smile

the lilt in your voice

like a song

that calls me.

The lift of your eyes

like the sunrise, a gift

your strong arms my home.

What wild tides brought us here?

You know too well

I’m an impossible question

a woman without bounds

an untamed mind

that wildly wants you.

Let me love you like this

from a distance

where my waves cannot break you

my ice doesn’t bite.

I will not take you

where you do not want to go.

One day I’ll learn

to quell my restless waves.

Till then I’ll wait

pulled by the night



70 Stories is an online project curated by the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival to mark the 70th anniversary of the Mental Health Foundation. The project connects stories from our Writing Competition, stories from SMHAF participants, and more in a compelling portrait of mental health in 2019.

Keep an eye on mhfestival.com/70stories for new entries in the series. If you are connected in some way to SMHAF or the Mental Health Foundation and would like to contribute a piece of writing to this project, please contact aeaton-lewis@mentalhealth.org.uk.