All posts filed under: Small Books

“Since She Did That” and other poems by E.D. Hickey

Home I rub, and RUB my eyes; Ferocious; Don’t, Don’t, sweetheart. Then the plane tips toward the cool thick Irish sea So that I can face it Gaze into it From my seat. Home! Clouds bubble over the razor wings The light jumps into my tired gaze. Home!   Steel There must be steel in women Who say no. I am made of utter fudge Compelled, somehow, to reply and smile And be grateful for the fleeting interest. This is exactly the kind of thing A better me Would never do.   August I have never been so hollow I will never be so hollow I just felt so hollow When I refused to fix it When you left that city a day too early When you cried to your mother on the phone She doesn’t even know me I wish I could tell her I was sorry.   Stucco I want to build I want to – I need to restructure Gut my foundations Cut into the old black brick below me Throw it …

The North, Issue 61 (January 2019)

Into the Light Blown Dark: Working with Freda Laughton’s ‘Now I am a Tower of Darkness’   Now I am a Tower of Darkness   As a child I knew How, beyond the lamp’s circuit, Lay the shadow of the shadow Of this darkness,   Waiting with an arctic kiss In the well of the staircase, Ready to drape the bed with visions No eyelids can vanquish.    Now I am a Tower of Darkness by Freda Laughton from A Transitory House (Jonathan Cape, 1945).   Freda Laughton produced one book of poetry, A Transitory House (Jonathan Cape, 1945). At the time of the book’s publication, Freda Laughton would have been 38 years old. Laughton’s chosen sphere was the female intimate, and within this context she was an expressionist of some ability. Her work presaged that of Eavan Boland and of Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. There is a certain fragility and darkness in Laughton’s expression which imbues it with shadow. Her art was masterful, not least in the poem In a Transitory Beauty,   Maternal the …

“A Guide to Feel-Good Doom” and other poems by Lisa Ardill

Dimples I am the wind that sighs at night through your bedroom window making your lovely hairs take flight. They rest against your cheek like affectionate little arms, and cling to your freckled flesh, its rosy flush their one dimpled source of life. Those could be my arms, holding fast to that imperfect reservoir into which I slip further each moment, sliding towards that gentle dip at the centre of your smooth skin. there is one on each side, To kidnap both mind and matter. The day I tumble into that tiny pool of love I will drown. and then I will float in your falling tears that follow me down whether those of sadness or joy, I will never know but either will hold me captive. Colourful Language your words are like flowers that come alive in a cold spring shooting from the ground with a gentleness that encumbers a hidden force they unearth their surroundings and mask others with their wondrous scent but sometimes their beauty is only soil deep the meaning tucked …

‘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 …

‘If I were spring,’ and other poems by Mihaela Dragan

Quinces.   Quinces seem to come from fairy tales. People even think of them as aliens, neither round nor oval neither glossy nor trivial not too dry and not too mellow but Lord, how they are handsome! They bring the Sun into a home dusty and drowsy, as if it had slept quietly among them!   Cats   What if, overnight, after a cup of cocoa with milk, we all wake up, mewling and whiskered?   Crackling our jaws arching our backs becoming cats.   Better than humans?   Sunrise   The cool sunrise, suddenly caused my heart to shudder.   It seemed that cricket songs were slowly drilling into my soul.   All day long, in summer, they surround me with their ardour,   their birds’ wings spread into the air, flapping, moving since dawn,                                tempestuous! If I were spring, If I were spring – I would disguise myself without much ado as a beautiful swallow, I would chirp …