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Mapping Hi-Zex Island

On the first day
we viewed the island from above:
a lightning flower flung across the skin of the sea
under the burning eye of the sun. 

On the second day, we approached it from the water,
observing aspects of permanence – 
three years and four months an island now,
its shape shifting between evening and morning.

On the third day we walked it, measured its synthetic 
drumlins, its rope beaches, its tightly woven coves,
weighed the miles of clouded water beneath our feet. 
Earth of a kind. Sea of a kind.

On the fourth day we went down to meet 
this land mass in its own twilight. Ghost nets reached out 
to finger our hair, calling us to the mausoleum 
of the island’s rusted underbelly.

On the fifth day, we saw the ocean swarm – 
angelfish and rainbow runners twisting through drifts
of polymer confetti that playact as food, 
feeding the very body of our island.

The sixth day we spent logging life. 
A shore crab. Clams. An albatross in flight 
off the western peninsular. We collected old eel traps, 
scraps like pastel coloured sharks’ teeth 

with which to make a necklace for the children. 
We bowed our heads under the weight of that night’s stars. 
And when the seventh dawn came, 
we saw our work was done.

Discovered by Charles Moore, Hi-Zex Island is made up of fishing debris, plastics and other trash.

Janet Lees is a poet and artist based in the Isle of Man. Her poems, photographs, and films have been published and shared in many different places, including Dark Mountain, the Climate Minds Anthology, and Fanfare: Poems by Contemporary Women Poets.
Instagram: @janetlees2001


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