All posts filed under: Nomadics

‘The World Reduced to a Sound’ and other poems by Anne Tannam

Unfinished Business   On their wedding day his father said I’ll forgive you everything if you do right by this girl the unfinished education the empty table setting at Christmas the family name unpolished, unloved.   I never met my grandfather a man who lived under the glare of his wife but I remember my grandmother, a small woman her mouth eternally disappointed with life. Dad bringing us down to visit her to the small dark house on Bulfin Road where the furnishings took themselves too seriously.   Later in that same house, I found a studio photograph of the polished family; my grandfather, something familiar in the way he’s leaning against the table my dad, a beautiful child about three years old sitting beside his brothers and sisters, and there my grandmother upright and disapproving staring into the camera, daring it to blink.   That blonde haired little boy the man who loved his wife for sixty years couldn’t wait to cycle home from work gave up his wages every week cooked our fry …

‘View’ by Helen Harrison

View   He wrote a picture postcard to me; A fishing boat on the edge of Lough Currane Close to his home. Beside the window where he writes his news The view of fuchsia beside a stone-wall, Flecked with the sun. His side of the glass; depression, for years Dependent on medications; then the Further frustration; As invasion of cancer then threatened A future made all the more precious; Delivered in the post, Passing on this message; ‘I knew you’d enjoy The picture of the lake; thought it would do You the power of good; Though; my dear; I know you don’t need it Pray for me, and write soon,” he pleaded. View is © Helen Harrison Helen Harrison was raised on the Wirral, seven miles from Liverpool, by Irish parents, and has lived most of her adult life in the border countryside of Co Monaghan, Ireland where she is married with a grown-up daughter. During 2014 she was awarded a bursary from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to study poetry for a week at The …

“Summer Haiku” by Maeve O’Sullivan

  summer haiku     choppy Irish Sea failing to dislodge this red starfish         poppy bed: the unopened ones as lovely as the blooms         a garden full of sunflowers swaying tall      muddy summer frogpond    no splash             reject samsara ? this wild summer river this wild path         these stone walls hemming him in too- cinnabar caterpillar         cloudy afternoon… my sweet pea flowers becoming peas     A Train Hurtles West     morning downpour- we have both dreamt about our mothers         lingering in my small bathroom… mum’s perfume         Auld Lang Syne in the background- I sign her DNR request              mother dying       a train hurtles west         death cert. incomplete   granny’s maiden name         All through the Night: this out of tune version strangely moving       …

‘Leda Revised’ and other poems by Celeste Augé

Ode More happy love! more happy, happy love! Forever warm and still to be enjoy’d…’ —JOHN KEATS, Ode on a Grecian Urn   You lie across my thighs as I write, my bone-warming hot water bottle, pure latex, guaranteed to delight the most discriminating women, mottle their thighs as they lie deep in their beds, pretending this rubber sack of warm water could never replace their lover.   The women of Ireland drive with you across their laps, hand-knit covers helping to keep you warm. More love, the patterns passed down from mothers and grandmothers, still enjoyed. They knit covers for each new bottle, battle the cold, inside and out.   Every woman remembers her first. I was twelve, three hours after landing in Ireland, in Granny’s front bedroom. You are the best invention after hot water on tap, and when old age hits and you warm through rheumatism— not period pains—I hope to bits I will have more to hug than my hottle (Granny’s word for hot water bottle).   Women Improve With the …

‘the goldberg variations’ by Chris Murray

scene 1: the goldberg variations   a kiosk at the end of a dark train in an abandoned travelyard: two shadowmen ravel orange round about their nothing much the magician in his moth coat appears in a vaudeville flourish. your piano balcony is high above the narrow stone street, your piano plays the rescued Goldberg, plays, and plays through its charred pages, – their black edges. it is the gothic quarter men move in their coffins.  their coffins are white with crosses on (red)  their coffins are on narrow shelves of (stone) aside an archivum (shades of gray):     a shady tree     an etched stone     a skull and crossbones Scene 2 : the goldberg variations     that indestructible piano! the undestroyed Goldberg is playing (again) wending its tones above a skatepark of bullet-glass (the melody plays, yes). I see that:  the romans left their life-size eggs and urns below the city  stitches pull and sting on the underside of my elbow (pain) softening the blow here and here there is no stitching …