Don’t look at the rosemary on the fridge
Abrakedabra! and a plume of white smoke
So the editor wants to know why
First published in The Stinging Fly
Seven Sugar Cubes
On 10th April, 1901, in Massachusetts, Dr. Duncan MacDougall set out to prove that the human soul had mass and was measurable. His findings concluded that the soul weighed 21 grams. When your mother phones to tell you that your father has died ten thousand miles away, visiting your emigrant brother, in a different hemisphere, in a different season, do you wonder if your father’s soul will be forever left in summer? Do you grapple with the journey home of the body of a man you have known since you were a body in your mother’s body? Does the news melt into you and cool to the image of his remains in a Tasmanian Blackwood coffin, in the body of a crate in the body of a plane? Or do you place the telephone receiver back on its cradle, take your car keys, drive the winter miles to your father’s field, where you know his horses will run to the rattle, like dice, of seven sugar cubes. first published in The Irish Times
You Have Become the Hand Rub of an Olympian
When your ashes return in a small wooden box, a brass plaque on top, there is no cord or record of attachment to anything or anyone. Somewhere a uterus is evacuating itself – a mass of patient vessels, surrendering and collapsing bereft of implantation, their futile existence spent. If we were to walk every inch of the earth or soar to a distant planet we’d be utterly sure of one thing now – we’d find nothing of you except these ashes – not your cadaver or the bony frame of your being, not the protrusion of your dental arcs. You’ve been reduced to chalky powder like the hand rub of some Olympian preparing to bar-cling. If this box should open, one accidental sneeze might spell the resurgence of your skin cells, hair follicles, a glutinous eye or a femur bone. Rewinding, back-tracking, you’ve been redacted to the nothingness of an atmosphere. (The Pickled Body)
The First Cut is…
for Ifrah Ahmed
I could feel
In the still
Canal Walk Home
What is it
Three lads sit on the boardwalk
Car lights are reflected in
Edged by banking sycamore leaves
A little further on
And then to gaze down the row
The red car lights more dense
For all your talk
The splendour of the curvature of the
My soul is saddening.
Take me away. No answer.
But while geographically there were many places she could have gone to.
His flinty eyes of malice recognised this.
Only her emptiness lingered
That seething chasm of nothingness
Why, the wolves of course.
Engorged breasts of black milk
The Last Day
Consumed and other poems are Gilliam Hamill.
|Originally from the village of Eglinton in Derry, Gillian Hamill has lived in Dublin for the past 12 years (intermingled with stints in Galway, Waterford and Nice). She has a BA in English Studies from Trinity College, Dublin and a MA in Journalism from NUI Galway. She is currently the editor of trade publication, ShelfLife magazine and has acted in a number of theatre productions. Gillian started writing poetry in late 2014.
⊗ Gillian’s Website
In Memory of the 796 infants and children who died at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
– honouring Leonora Carrington –
Csilla Toldy was born in Budapest. After a long odyssey in Europe she entered the UK with a writer’s visa to work on films and ended up living in Northern Ireland in 1998. Her prose appeared in Southword, Black Mountain Review and anthology, Fortnight, The Incubator Journal, Strictly Writing and Cutalongstory. Her poetry was published online and in print literary magazines, such as Snakeskin and Poetry24, Savitri, Lagan Online, Headstuff, Visible Verse, A New Ulster and in two chapbooks published by Lapwing Belfast: Red Roots – Orange Sky and The Emigrant Woman’s Tale.