Saturday, July 28, 2018
Your face that I loved
has changed so completely
that I already know
Our time has gone.
And, as dying like a sandstorm
rearranges your features,
I am useless,
a cripple of words.
But if the winds
in your head will carry
the smallest part
of what I'm trying to say, father
let it be
that my proud years
are tatters here;
I love you.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
In this wheel
I am spokes, smile and scowl.
Tonight, careering around the town,
I see all the pub doors closing
and take it personally;
don’t want to go in, don’t want to stay out.
Next week I'll tumble down these steps again;
people always make room
but then, just as I've nearly passed,
they kick me.
My smile and scowl are identical;
they think I'm a contraption.
Monday, July 16, 2018
It was ireland in the sixties. Corset conversation veered very close to immodesty. Michael O'Hehir was the voice of Sunday afternoons in Summer, and a spin in the car seemed like a good idea, but children get bored quickly.
VISITING THE CORSETMAKER
Miss Gately, you know, the corsetmaker; her cottage
thatched and whitewashed beneath sycamores ragged with
crows and their bickering. A Sunday afternoon, my mother
walking to the red door and it opened and closed and
nothing else stirring for ages but ourselves in the back of the
white consul with the red roof at the end of the avenue, just
outside the gate; stone walls and lichen patches wallpapering
our afternoon. Father dropping off in the driver’s seat
while Micheal O'Hehir commentated on matches, one after
another, without ever taking a breath in all that pipe smoke; matches collecting in the ash-tray all burnt to tiny black bird
bones and the condensation all used up with words and
faces dribbling pathetically into shapeless bad temper. Over
and over: will she ever come out, can’t we go now, why do
we always have to come, move your legs; till eventually she
would reappear, a slap in the doorway, motor jauntily,
red-headed, back to the car like it’s been five minutes or
something, and Dad’s awake, reversing from the gate, back
into the remains of a Sunday afternoon.
And I never knew what went on in there; never saw who
opened the door, never saw a package, never heard anything
about it. My father didn’t know either. I remember she
took my sister with her when my sister was in secondary
school. I wouldn’t have wanted to join them anyway, it was obviously a woman’s house.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
‘What are we?’ I ruminate;
flat stone skipping over water.
‘What are we?’ opposite wall
in blind alley.
‘What are we?’ armchair
drowsy in fireglow.
‘What are we?’ a tooth
in kindred company.
‘What are we?’ pin fixed
in a pin-cushion.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
A boy, stripy pyjamas astray in the woods,
is walking, bare feet in the leaf litter,
beneath woozy woozy woozy drunken trees.
There may be stars beyond those branches,
but teeth and tongues flickering in the leaves,
trees' lingering fingers slithering around him.
Skitterings scramblings, cluttering his ears,
wrigglings worming his skin;
darknesses flashing his eye-bulbs;
beneath those million dripping fruits licked leaves,
his foot flattens on something gelatinous ̶
he is then all of him altogether shreik-shaped.