All posts tagged: A Saturday Woman Poet

‘Mulcair’ and other poems by Amanda Bell

The beauty of the game   is lost on me when I watch you play. I see the curve of your cheek, the rounded base of your skull – once a custom-fit for my palm – and feel again the warm weight of your incipience.   No more walnut-snug in my armour your head now bobs around the pitch and air shrieks with the thwack of plastic against wood, against bone.   (first published by The Ofi Press)   Dark Days   i.m. Savita Halappanavar   Suspended at the end of Krishna Paksha, the moon is a sickle freeze-framed in the night sky.   The fireworks have been cancelled, replaced by candles and a vision of you dancing on the cusp.   These are dark days between Diwali and Advent, waiting   for the moon to wax. (first published by the Burning Bush 2)   Troglodytes   On visiting Lascaux cave for the 70th anniversary of its discovery   Inland, the road torcs into forest. Among walnut trees, the house vibrates with life: bees, hummingbird …

‘Blackbird’ and other poems by Imogen Forster

Testudo   A bone-hard carapace, a shell cast on a hot shore, emptied by the labour of leaving the nurturing sea, scraping broad ribbons up the sand’s glassy slope .   Gasping, digging a damp hole, she lays round, sticky eggs, a hundred leathery balls. Then spent, noon-dried, she dies, picked clean by quick scavengers.   Her hatchlings flail and scuttle towards the sea, led by the gazing moon, their plates small patterned purses, hardened in the rich sea-soup into a vaulted chamber built to the blueprints of this old architecture.   Published in Visual Verse   Blackbird   The blackbird sits, a smudge in the prickly hedge, stooped, wings and tail all downward.   I want to touch him, to feel the quick, warm shape in a cage of bare branches.   What does a bird fluffed against the cold see in his crouched stillness?   If I could grasp him by his ashy back, hold his whole breathing body in my hand   what would the soft bones tell me, the barbed primaries …

‘The Mission’ by Rita Ann Higgins

The Mission I think of the last time we met on the prom in Galway. A sunny day in May you looked cool in those shades. You looked taller somehow. We talked for ages. You told me about plans for your mother’s sixtieth. I felt lucky to have such a nephew. Shades or no shades. You hid your distress well, John. None of it was evident that sunny day. The day of good nephews. A month later you went to Beachy Head. WTF John. I think of you leaving your bundle on top of Beachy Head. Your belt coiled around your watch your wallet with a photo of your daughter your fire fighter’s ID card your blood donor card your bus ticket from Brighton. Losers weepers. Margaret, your Irish twin, was on a holiday she didn’t want to go on. She had been worried sick, she had us all demented saying you were going to do it. Twins know things, Irish twins know more. I was at a wedding in June when some friends of …

‘Cleaving a Puzzle-Tree’ and other poems by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Cleaving a Puzzle-Tree   1.   I didn’t see my grandmother’s tree in Chile, araucaria araucana, though they grow tall there and are many. I must have walked under them every day, tripped over their seeds, but I didn’t think of her, oceans away, standing in a square of green, raking leaves around her monkey puzzle tree.   2.   For over a hundred years, that tree stood between pruned rosebush and clipped hedge, a long shadow moving over wet fields and stone walls. As a girl, I clung to the trunk when we played hide and seek, rough bark printing maps on my palms.   3.   In April gales, the tree sways. From the window, my grandmother watches a chainsaw blade spin the tree into a flight of splinters, until only logs and sawdust are left. In each neat wheel of wood, an eye opens, ringed by lines of the past. The logs are split, stacked, the tree turned into armfuls of firewood which will rise as smoke to the sky, a puzzle …

‘Crystal Clear’ and other poems by Eileen T O’Neill

Crystal Clear   She sits alone within her own cocoon, Shrouded from her entire surroundings. Eyes stare without seeing today’s world, The sound of talking is silent in her mind. Her crystal lamp is abandoned from care, All belongings are deserted from attention. Her perspective is internally facing forever, Her gaze is transparent in its sad emptiness. This journey is taken in isolation and alone, Farewells too late as her departure had gone. Her dementia deteriorated in a sneaky fashion, Only memories enliven her past participation.   © Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 20/02/2015   Solitude’s Soliloquy   Loneliness is an outpost endured, Alone in isolation bereft of friends. A far flung niche deserted in tundra, Or lost in the coldness of city living. It shrouds demeanour and self-belief, Belonging is seemingly for all others. Unattached except for wishful dreaming, Solitude does not placate a lonely mind. Seclusion is at times a necessity of desire, Its calmness affords tranquillity to muse. Reflections gaze and ponder their silences, In this solitudinous mode one draws breaths. A soliloquy …