All posts tagged: Banshee

“A Gradual Eden” and other poems by Audrey Molloy

A Gradual Eden After the lava had cooled, hardened like a carapace over the fresh-earth graves of our marriages, nothing happened for a while. Sure, you and I still talked all night, once dared to walk arm-in-arm like a real couple to the Vietnamese restaurant with the string-bead curtain and napkins folded into swans. I had to learn the basics: I only knew your every thought, but not, for instance, how you took your coffee, how you swam at five each day, leaving me to wake alone. Nothing grew on the hard-baked basalt of us. Ditches that had defined our highways vanished, once-shady trees now jutted like antlers where the lightning had struck. When the strawberries were gone we ate dandelion and fiddle-head ferns. You were an inventive chef, but I was sick of roots and leaves; I wanted Passiflora (or violets at the very least). Once, longing for old comforts, you peeked back under the edge of the rock-crust for a glimpse of green, but the lawns were mustard and thistle-pocked. Twice I peeked …

‘Aleph to Taf’ and other poems by Emma McKervey

Aleph to Taf The magpie uses a rudder to steer by. I watch the long feathers of its tail turn according to its needs. The women here swear they see them singly for weeks before a death, but that is only said after the fact and I know you can see as many as you wish wherever you look. Now there are seven moving about this field; I think nothing of it. I hunker the tip of the long drill which runs to the North and is ghosted by frost in winter’s milky light. The dibber is in hand. It is not a strong name but I know it carries force, carries the moment of force in its twist. Torque it is called and the dibber forms the T of that turn. It is a brand in my hand which separates death from life, beginning from end, from Aleph to Taf as the Hebrews say and I rotate the taf, the true cross, opening the ground with its shaft and turning the raw soil with …

‘Grazing’ and other poems by Deirdre Daly

Indian Summer   All neon invitations are ignored. No souls pass the threshold to buy a happy ring or waste an afternoon at shrill slot machines. We are left to ponder the question of our time – Why go Bald? A shop window implores me to buy a white latex nurse’s uniform and cap. Never has a scrub dress looked so unsexy and we all know stockings always fall down. Each street sucks at the sourness of the Liffey’s waters, but delights are still found in its twinkle as it eddies around wheelie bins and twisted bikes.   This is the last lie we tell ourselves that Summer’s embrace still holds, until winter cripples the leaves of the blunted silver birches holding guard along O’Connell Street. No one will be smiling then. A preacher steals no crowd on a wooden fruit crate. Ginger hair matted by sweat, Jesus spittle on his lips. Just one woman stands. Hands held to the sky praise the guts of this guy for letting the world and God know he …

“Detail” and other poems by Rachel Coventry

Detail   The world is full stretched, and sick with possibility. You find yourself in a gallery ill with heat and standing. Waiting for some man to play his ridiculous hand. So bored of art, but then forced into wakefulness by the feet of Diego Velazquez’ Cristo Crucificado. All suffering now upon you and you bear it because you have to.   First published in the Stony Thursday Book   Dispute   Latterly, my mother’s silent complaint, the mute argument of her life   articulated itself inside her body each unspoken tirade   eventually rendered in flesh scratched into synapse   a foot plants itself on the stair, refuses to move till she swears, come on   you fucker, drags it sulking up one but then the other   stops and on it goes the claim and counter claim   of an insidious dispute that leads nowhere   First Published in the Honest Ulsterman   Beat   Systole   I am still haunting at the old addresses oblivious to cosmetic improvements, wandering pre-gentrified Stoke Newington …