Helen Sellers

Helen Sellers

Helen Sellers lives in Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire, where she enjoys the open space. She studied French and lived in France for a year as a student. She still visits France frequently. After teaching French for a number of years, Helen re-trained to teach Religious Education, where her interest in philosophy led her to major in the Philosophy of Religion. Though no longer in the classroom, Helen continues to be involved in the world of education. Her poems have appeared in Pennine Platform, online and in a number of anthologies.



Last time, we had walked the mountain paths of the Alpes Maritimes
wondering where the language changed. These cols and passes
seventy years before had been the rim of safety, of a kind.

This evening the train returns us to Menton from the market
in Ventimiglia, a few minutes, no more, until we start to prepare
supper back in the apartment. A pause at Garavan, but the train
does not move on. Gendarmes stride through the carriage,
more appear on the platform. We sit still, apprehensive, unclear
as to the protocols of watching armed police. Then noise
from further along, and two North African lads are taken off
made to sit on the platform bench, a gendarme’s rifle
casually menacing as he stands akimbo. This cannot be so rare,
I suppose, if he can look so unconcerned.

Next morning, from the shoreline, we stare up at the leap of death,
the ravine defining another edge.

Nostalgie de la mer

Landlocked, through May I sort images
catalogue a chronology of spume and spray
create a collage of azure, ozone and
Mediterranean air.

In July hay-dust choked lungs, gasping
for sea mist blown onto the shore at the Bastion,
breathe in views from Les Sablettes under brises-soleil
of small yachts at anchor echoing the rise and fall
of wilder waves against the harbour wall.

Gathering the scent of October stone pines at Cap Martin
I assemble the prints, follow Le Corbusier’s path round rocky promontories
towards Roquebrune, stare at the bottom of the map
conjure those centimetres of blue ink
to movement, sound, life.

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Poetry in this post: © Helen Sellers
Published with the permission of Helen Sellers