All posts filed under: Poetry

“Sewage Babies” and “Missing” by Deborah Watkins

Originally posted on Poethead :
Sewage babies   Put on our Sunday best for Mass. Let on we haven’t heard about dead babies in Tuam. Eight hundred infants, bunkered in human filth. Bones tossed like old coins, dump of dead currency.   To those who defend servants of God and state: ‘They did the best with what they had.’ What have we?   Garrison church. Proud, complicit government. Blessed well of indifference. Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers   Missing   Hour by hour you lie hidden under forest light as it rises and falls dimly through the trees. Year by year you slip a few more degrees into the earth while you wait and yet your ending clings, like the lingering sound of an old tune.   Each season breeds cool abeyance – wood sorrel drifts ivory white while chard green ivy creeps. Dog roses run wild. They root in your place, parade their disdain but your bones   remain constant and strong – poised…

A celebration of women’s poetry for International Women’s Day 2017

Featured image from “The Infinite Body Of Sensation” by Salma Caller   Salma Ahmad Caller is an artist and a hybrid of cultures and faiths. She is drawn to hybrid and ornamental forms, and to how the body expresses itself in the mind to create an embodied ‘image’. UK based, she was born in Iraq to an Egyptian father and a British mother and grew up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. With a background in art history and theory, medicine and pharmacology, and several years teaching cross-cultural ways of seeing via non-Western artefacts at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, she now works as an independent artist and teacher. salma caller artists statement [PDF] “In the Glass Coffin” by Kim Myeong-sun Today, I withstood agony again, Because my life is still lingering, Trapped in scarcely visible sorrow. If my body is trapped Like the life of a dinky, dinky thing, What is with all this sorrow, this pain? Like the bygone prince, Who had loved the forbidden woman, I believed I would live if I danced in the …

“Pomegranate” and other poems by Kim Myeong-sun translated by Sean Jido Ahn

Pomegranate In autumn, even a tree sheds jewels on the street. A deeply buried heart may be fetching like this. Around this time, A bird shall pilot the life of a fragrant tree, Crossing the river with a seed in its beak, Passing the field of silvergrass on a mountain. My shallow roots, Which were swayed by no more than rain and wind, Have you ever borne a piece of ruby hot as blood? Without a jewel to pass on to a bird or a wind, I pass in front of a pomegranate tree. Whether I love or hate, Life merely flows. Toward where is life—an initiation ceremony—leading to? The heart too red to believe in an afterlife, The heart pecked by the bird! A Will Joseon*, when I part from you, Whether you knock me down by a creek Or yank my blood in the field, Abuse me more, even my dead corpse. If this is still not enough, Then abuse her as much as you can When someone like me is born henceforth. …

“Finding Symmetry” and other poems by Jo Burns

Conchita reads Pablo’s letter to God (while he is painting)   Your committee for time-keeping has ruled diphtheria a highly unpunctilious event. By consensus you can’t seem to remember this being planned into any agendas.   You call me precocious but Pablo, honestly it’s you that Mama has always adored, Papa ignores me, I can’t even draw. It’s all planned for you so perfectly.   You’re a stickler for timeliness, and planned these years differently. You have the domestic dates regulated but I heard you, silently   trying prayer on for size, gambling paint for my life. You waver clandestine. Your brushstrokes will sacrifice us all and I will be the first in line.   First published by Helen Ivory at Ink Sweat and Tears for National Poetry Day. http://www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?p=12146   Mrs Violet Schiff at The Majestic   At this gathering of society horsemen behind Parisian oyster cream gates, Proust is here. He drives me insane. Bloody Joyce is silent and seems irritated.   I’m waiting for you Pablo. Please wear, for me, that faixa …

“Rosa” and other poems by Bernadette Gallagher

Hanging #2 (Things Fall Apart) For JL As I relax in Inchydoney reading ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe you encounter a real life hanging and with no time to think you scale the tree and save a man’s life. Twenty four hours later I could do nothing to save Okonkwo, only read to the end of his story. First published by HeadStuff.org as Poem of the Week on 11 November 2015; Editor – Alvy Carragher; Audio recording by the poet Shades (After ‘To Any Dead Officer’ by Siegfried Sassoon) In memoriam: J.J.J. Well, how are things in Heaven? Better than 1916 when you were born? Humans fighting humans. Are there quarrels amongst the shades? Does he who shouts loudest get heard? Have you met Robert Tressell whose book sustained you? He, who died a pauper, yet unpublished. How many others have you met who died unsung or poor? How are Rembrandt and El Greco? And how fares William Blake who was buried in an unmarked grave? Have you heard the music of Vivaldi or …