All posts filed under: Poets

“Slice” and other poems by Umang Kalra

How To Run Away   slowly pry away every hand that wields the nails that dig into your skin, crisscross scratches shaped into dry throats and the taste of dust glistening through humid, hot, sickening summer air sinking into your bones   use your fingers, use your words, unravel the knots that hold your feet in place, that nail your tired, broken skin to the ground that has built your body with its dirt; wipe your fingerprints off every surface you have touched   slit through every string that ties you to these lives that have to bend and break to make room for you, smooth and untouched pieces, clean breaks all over the floor: dust off the empty promises and send them somewhere better   scrunch up every muddy, murky memory into your trembling fist – you exist, and they don’t anymore – keep them safe somewhere in your brain,   for you will need bricks to build a new home   Vagabond   My heartstrings have been knotted carelessly, messily, tightly, into place …

The Gladstone Readings Anthology

  The Gladstone Readings Anthology (Famous Seamus, UK, 2017) is an anthology of contemporary writing, though predominantly poetry, and which was compiled and edited by the poet, editor and translator Peter O’ Neill. This is O’ Neill’s second stab at editing an anthology, the first was published in conjunction with the French poet and editor Walter Ruhlmann and was published by Walter for mgv2>publishing ( France, 2015 ) And Agamemnon Dead, an anthology of twenty first century Irish poetry. Some of the same names appear in The Gladstone Readings Anthology that appear in And Agamemnon Dead. Michael J. Whelan, Christine Murray, Rosita Sweetman, Arthur Broomfield, John Saunders and Bob Shakeshaft, so there is a correspondence between both works which is immediately identifiable in the contents section. Thematically there are similarities between both works too. Violence, as indicated in the Yeat’s quote of the first book, is once again a recurring theme uniting this latest anthology, with a short story by Helena Mulkerns, taken from her debut collection Ferenji ( Doire Press, 2017 ) complementing Whelan’s visceral …

‘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 …

‘Stormriver’ and other poems by Myra Vennard

NIGHT TREE   Along the river bank street lights are lighting   the darkening waters glow the sun is low   the mountain crouches low in shadow   light drops from light dark creeps back to night …   my mind struggles with a paradox – gleams from a self-source   and light falling from a star   love is racked – there is no owning in the soul   the void is an agitation fixed habit of a consciousness   unwilling to go into the terror of going into light of naked night   my tree reaches up winter bare its star is not yet born.   GOING OUT   Sea fog curls around the cliff face   the island has no contour still – and I   I am weeping amid a conflict   the wish for forgetfulness yet fear of clinging sorrow   intangible dreams are real a beatitude in the memory   at dawn – an echo unfathomable – secret   I dream of the dead as having no subjectivity   …

“The Bellmouth” and other poems by Gráinne Tobin

Internal Exile   It was all too much. He took to his bed, and stayed there for ten years, begetting, however, several more children. She carried trays up and down the stairs and he lay hidden, staring out to sea. At night he watched the lighthouse winking through his shuttered window. All the money was gone. It didn’t matter. They picked a living from their children’s labour at this salty edge of earth, where there was always fishing, chickens, a smallholding of sorts, some barter.   What got him up and dressed at last was this. One afternoon from under his eiderdown he gazed beyond the glass panes, as the waves framed by floral curtains, silently rose, and gulped his two sons in their boat – corpses never found, skiff washed ashore in pieces, the coastal searches just as futile as that warm sanctuary where the need to witness woke him in the end.   From The Nervous Flyer’s Companion   Happy Days in Sunny Newcastle   The air’s washed now, last night’s sad leavings …