All posts filed under: How Words Play

‘All The Worlds Between’; a collaborative poetry project between India and Ireland

All the Worlds Between is a collaborative poetry project bringing together poets from India, Ireland and in between. Their writing partnerships resulted in four strands—poems as conversations, poems at angles to one another, poems which speak out of turn to other poems in the group and, not surprisingly, stories of friendship.   The poets looked at questions of home, belonging, identity, exclusion and homogenisation. From conversations about shoes and what they evoke to exchanges about parents, poems responding to the transgender experience, to inward angled poems and even chain poems created stanza by stanza over email and WhatsApp, through all of these the poets found themselves eavesdropping on a collective consciousness, ears to the ground listening for the beat of life.   Contributing poets: Adil Jussawalla, Aditi Rao, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Alvy Carragher, Anne Tannam, Arundhathi Subramaniam, BeRn, Christine Murray, Claus Ankersen, Daniel Ryan, Fióna Bolger, Maurice Devitt, Menka Shivdasani, Nandini Sahu, Nita Mishra, Ӧzgecan Kesici, Rizio Yahannan Raj, Sampurna Chattarji, Shobhana Kumar, K. Srilata, Sue Butler, Swarnalatha Rangarajan, R. Vatsala.   Edited by K. …

‘Wild Fennel’ and other poems by Tess Barry

Raspberries I started out in western Pennsylvania hills with wild raspberry and blackberry bushes and my mother’s apple field. Bread and ripe fruit and fresh milk. My mother cleaned the carpet right off the floor. My father was a Troy Hill boy who played piano and smoked Pall Malls and drank whiskey. He won my mother in a dance contest. Who wouldn’t learn to jitterbug for a prize like her? They took a train to Cape Cod for a honeymoon and bought hats for their mothers. They sailed all the way from the Cape to ten children. My whole life has been ripe with wild fruit. All the men I’ve loved had left feet. I was innocent until I got myself a good pair of rain boots. There is no point in wondering what I’ll come to. With my first words I wrote my own path straight to New York: all night accents, brick stoops. I left there like a mad dog running free like our Dusty who got himself killed down the street, chasing …

‘I Saw Beckett The Other Day’ and other poems by Órfhlaith Foyle

Photograph of Her Brother’s Skull   They give you to me, a numbered skull from a high shelf and in my hand you are a strange brute thing – a thing I hardly see -my brother.   The clean smooth bone of you – the whole of you no longer with me. In this room of discovered skulls, I have lost my memories And the photographer fixes your dead stare for his lens.   In this room of skulls, Your face is lost, my brother, and I grips hard to what is left.   After Sunday Mass in Malawi   After Sunday Mass they whispered: ‘he was a poet, perhaps. A dissident, yes.’ He ignored the spies in his classroom.’ Then someone else also remembered: ‘Of course, this is not our country. We are Whites, you see   I Saw Beckett the Other Day   I saw Beckett the other day in the doorway of that café where you took his photograph.   You know the one… when he looked up at the lens and …

‘Sequence after Celan’ by Gillian Prew

Sequence after Celan 1 Spring: trees flying up to their birds where the sun is the seeds are freed their small sound a wound like death watercoloured and open each foliated lung with its breathing understory the climb of springtime into the loud light sky filled with dove-coloured words 2 the climbed evening is thick with lung-scrub a nocturne of oxygen of spring sillage the raising of the dead and their flowers the night deer with hooves of heather the precision of an owl in *rooted darkness in the tangled bramble a knot of blood 3 water needles stitch up the split shadow-he fights his way deeper down, free rain wholly itself a breathing torrent hitting the half-lit a million microdazzles a mouse mud-buried a blinking scut the fluency of a softer death a spring nothingness a heart-smoke 4 in the air, there your root remains, there, in the air up the sky bitten open the sun exhumed clouds bud and bloom with roots of rain 5 All things, even the heaviest, were fledged, nothing, …

‘The First Rule’ and other poems by Susan Millar DuMars

Reclamation   The blood has stopped and with it the need to suckle lesser creatures. My breasts are pale, cool proud and mine.   The blood has stopped and with it the need to shield smaller souls inside me. My womb calm. Not weeping. And it’s my womb.   I’m learning the pleasure of empty. The weight of one. Nothing on my back but a breeze getting colder.   The blood has stopped and with it the need to grow anything but older.   The First Rule   Will I show you what to do with a naked woman?   You can lie on top of her feel her yield taste her salt ride her undulations know her to be ocean almost drown   leave her the wind again her breath the tide again her muscles the rocks again her bones.   This is a naked woman. Rain fed pulsing soft.   Respect, sailor, is the first rule of the sea.   Baby Makes Me Watch   His features a pattern of cracks in a …