All posts filed under: Poets

Poems from ‘Available Light’ by Maria McManus

from ‘Émigrés’   3.   What is going on in your heart?   Prisoners of war live here   Throw off your gaudy vestments, spring’s best and brightest fig and let me see you naked and then, more naked still —   Put your heart in my hearts cavity. Slip it in.   Bring your worry beads if needs be. It’s not too late to shred all documents of denunciation.   5.   Now we must hunt by ear and put our trust   in gossiping swallows, the hooded crows, the herring gulls,   the wryneck’s potent drum.   7. Between silences take notice of the imago of your stolen self. Sold back but at what price?   10. Collect wishbones, place them in charnel houses, quarter the ground to make sure and certain none are missing – these things bring a plan to grief.   11. The song-birds are drowning, the sea is now a cemetery. The song-birds are drowning, the sea is now a cemetery   14. Life’s comforts are honeycombed and treacherous, and …

“mia council casa es tu council casa” and other poems by Ali Whitelock

i am the sea that january. prestwick beach. the sea heaves. swallows herself down like cough syrup in thick slow gulps. we’d sat on this rock just two days before, both of us with our backs to the world staring out across and into the thickness. i counted a thousand and one seagulls that day watched them huddle together, balance like storks on a single orange leg the other nestled up in the warmth of their soft white bellies as they, with uncharacteristic patience, waited for the rain that would surely fall and when the wind whipped up, andrew jumped from our rock pulled his emerald green kite from his rucksack tore off down the desolate beach his kite ploughing a trench in the sand behind him, eager for the gust that would lift it to where it wanted to be and every few seconds he’d turn around and run backwards untangling cords and calling out across the increasing distance between us, ‘c’mon on ali! c’mon!’ and i heeded his call, jumped from our rock …

‘A Glass of Tea, a View of the Atlas’ by Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Trade An assortment of crooked and straight arrows for the crest of a bulbul or a handful of sesame Uncut turquoise for juices of scorpions and glow worms A dozen poisons for an embroidered collar/ a pinch of saffron/ abalone knob Spotted eggs for knotted shoes Peacock feathers for beet sugar How much fur will buy cloves for my toothache? How many sprigs of mint/ radishes to restring your rabab? The market is spinning between us How much of us has been stolen by the ghosts of aromas? When night comes there is spinach again for the promise of quail Your dream of cake feeds on wild berries You kiss my cold shoulder I comb out the market from your hair A Glass of Tea, a View of the Atlas You give me Fez honey on Fennel cakes in a ceramic saucer because you say, to eat from this bitter clay (glazed and caressed with geometric precision), will draw me into the shapeless sob of the future. You read invasion’s epistle even in the smoothness …

‘Bathwater Love’ and other poems by Niamh Twomey

Bathwater Love I wear you wrong; my reasons inside-out and love like perfume for others to admire. At night you draw feathers on my Skin. And your kisses teach me new vowels, but we are in bathwater. Slowly adjusting to the cold, soaked in Inertia, eyes squeezed, knowing– spiraling down   Song of Grendal’s Mother They gave me no name but ‘mother’. Those Goldbricks in their golden hall; I was not the Virgin Mary of their wet dreams– but real– One who took an eye for an eye. Agloewif. Repeal that oldest fairytale, old as the gold you play with. I only took what I deserved and ran– But there’s something of Monster in Man.   I I am now. My blood is words bilingual, and blighted stories. My name is mine but borrowed, my home is Troubled wet soil on dry days, and cow shit springs. But cut me open and you will find nothing there.   Family, Mine Every family is a sealed can. Father– open wounds, drooping wit, salt. Sister– fire breathing …

‘Reluctant Oration’ and other poems by Fiona King

Birth The last point of the quadrant remains to be drawn, Out on the fringe of a shadowy dawn. The air is still, devoid of all sound, The raven encircles the battleground. The troops are assembled, their swords held with poise, To face the enemy engulfing his choice. He arrives with his foe, emits a loud cry, The prophetic bird falls dead from the sky. Morning’s mist begins to fade, The child is here, no longer afraid. CHILD’S PLAY The couple play a childish game, Their toys are guilt, betrayal, shame. They scatter them across the floor, Expose insecurities raw and sore. Their song is angry, well-rehearsed, A tune of sadness, bitterly versed. Their painting, an unfinished mess, Made in haste, under duress. They dance a dance of hideous precision, Wrong is right, final decision. Nothing to lose and less to gain, Familiar role play, hate and pain. Their child looks on, he takes the blame, Discarded toy in an adult game.   WOODEN SPOON Deed is done, misdemeanour little, Anger rises, no acquittal. Shriek …