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‘Nightmare’ and ‘The Fall’ by Eleanor Hooker

Nightmare

 
A cobalt night in blue relief
and the hunt begins.
The green grass black
and the talking baby frightens me.
Bug eyed horrors hover in
our shadows, lingering, carnivorous.
Wailing now to let him stay,
He stumbles after, the talking baby.
  
Drop under the yickety yackety
picket fence. A treacherous fork
in the road. I know well the dangers.
Where I go the baby follows. I urge him
back to the black green grass, behind the
 yickety yackety picket fence.
“You’ll be safer there” I promise.
  
He crawls back under with pleas
to follow. We neither saw the pit
that he fell in, in velvet silence. A
small hand held the edge but
slipped away beneath my grip.
A cobalt night in blue relief and
And the hunt begins.
  

Nightmare is © Eleanor Hooker
 

First published in The Stinging Fly and subsequently The Shadow Owner’s Companion

The Fall

 
Oh she bared her soul alright; it fell from a star cloud
Reigned by Canis Major. They knew it was authentic,
It whimpered like an unknown set loose inside a crowd
Of urban predators: fierce curs and savage sceptics
That roamed in packs. A few select gave shelter in
The telling, clad the naked soul in their protection,
Made suspect bargains to house her in a harlequin
that masked and silenced looked like her, even wore her skin.
But being undressed is like an honest thought, it cannot
Lie with dogs; it is the thing in itself, nothing more.
The truth is beastly but does not wag the tale. No, that
Is the subplot tellers invent when they call her whore.
And though her flesh is marked by canines, they strain to blame
Her first fall; judging original sin her true shame.

 
The Fall is © Eleanor Hooker

 
First published in The Shadow Owner’s Companion, February 2012

shadowEleanor Hooker’s debut collection of poems The Shadow Owner’s Companion, published by the Dedalus Press in February 2012, has been shortlisted for the Mountains to Sea dlr Strong/Shine award for best first collection in 2012. Her poem A Rite won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland competition in June 2013.
 
Her poetry has been published in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The SHOp, Agenda, POEM: International English Language Quarterly, Southword (forthcoming), CanCan, Wordlegs, And Other Poems, ink sweat and tears (forthcoming).
 
 She is a founder member and Programme Curator for the Dromineer Literary Festival. She is a helm and Press Officer for Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat.

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