Invisible Continents

Invisible Continents

A woman who swims with octogenarians, another who trains to fire a shotgun, and a third who collects fallen feathers. These are some of the characters you meet in these shape-shifting journeys of sea, sky, and land, by way of Antarctica and beyond.

The poems in this collaboration find their connection in repeated and overlapping themes of discovery, loss and longing, cruising the fluid borders of inner and outer geographies.

Invisible Continents is a collaborative work between Lesley Curwen, Jane R Rogers and Tahmina Maula. They have been sharing and discussing their work for several years in the Greenwich Poetry Workshop in south London.

Lesley Curwen

Lesley Curwen is a broadcaster, poet and sailor living within sight of Plymouth Sound. She often writes about sailing, loss, and the environmental damage done to the oceans and their wildlife. Her poems have been published (or soon will be) by Broken Sleep, The Storms, Arachne Press, Black Bough, Ice Floe Press, Iamb Poetry and After Poetry.

In which I become Plymouth Sound


I am we are bowl-filled-with-brine.

Together hold a kind of vastness

rimmed by breakwater, red soil.


At lowest astronomical tide

cracked teeth rise but no trace

of past journey is perceptible


except for tributes at Mayflower

steps to speculators who staged

raids across the compassed globe.


I am we are diesel-rainbow-veined

for this is true Sound, no re-touched

pic seen from a Hoe perspective.


My hair grows bladderwrack, eyes

shine nacreous, heart slides west like

the steep chevron folds in Jennycliff.


Men’s effluent from frigates, trawlers

floats stinking in our face and shawls

of orange net bedeck Batten beach.


I am we are ablaze with warning signs.

At dusk channel-marks flash red/green

a toppled Xmas tree with lights still on.  

Tahmina Maula

Tahmina Maula is a British-Bengali poetry and prose writer. She is an EAP Lecturer and has done freelance work for The Poetry Society. Her current writing interests include language, memory and loss. She lives in Greenwich, London.

The Geography of Loss


The geography of loss was the first lesson –

leave-takings on absent shores.

What-might-have-beens now lost in time

caught on the weft and warp.


Distance spins with new measures:

hour-on-hour time-travelled

saree silks by length unravelled

baganbilas, stem-by-stem,

blossoming through far-off soils.


Somewhere there’s a place we count on

where the heart still feels what the eyes can’t see.


Jane R. Rogers

Jane R Rogers is a poet, knitter, and a book production specialist in the publishing industry. She is currently working on a sequence of poems inspired by ice cores and often writes in the ‘A Gram of &’s’ form. Her poems have appeared in Envoi, Prole, The Curlew, Long Exposure Magazine, Tears in the Fence, among others. She lives in Lewisham, London.



after Yinka Shonibare sculpture,

Woman Shooting Cherry Blossoms


Markswoman, she stands in front of the target.

Feet planted, eyes focussed, shotgun raised.

And in the pause – when her head spins

with the pull of a colonial past – tension

rises inside her breasts: her feelings are ships sails

trapped in a bottle. Her skirts rustle with the weight

of stories and stones, her breaths draw in the batik that clings

to the stance of her hips. And her emotions grow

into her hands. She holds the shotgun steady.

In that moment she squeezes the trigger.

And in the ricochet of her shot,

as smoke clears – from the gun’s barrels

spring cherry blossoms – explosions

of blush, coral, ballet-slipper pink.