All posts tagged: poetry

Poems from “Off Duty” by Katie Donovan

Wedding   “Hasty,” the judge mocked until he read the letter from the consultant, his jaded face changing to pity. We got the green light then, to marry in a hurry.   We turned up in our jeans and limped through the ceremony – upsetting the officiating lady, determined to make this a special occasion.   Outside the registry office we inked a shadow on the next couple: the bride, glowing in her plumage, her robust young groom, their flower girls fidgeting.   My brother and his wife had used their lunch hour to be our witnesses. They went back to work, and my new spouse rode off on his bike: the big triumph that, with six months to live, he could still cycle.   I had to collect our children – the paltry nuptials would have been disappointing – no frocks, no fun – just this boring signing thing, and so I kept it secret, left them with Gran.   I sloped off to the train. It was bright, a May day, and I …

‘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 …

‘Fable’ and ‘Oh Cherry Trees You are Too White For My Heart’ by Doris Lessing

Originally posted on Poethead :
Fable When I look back I seem to remember singing. Yet it was always silent in that long warm room. Impenetrable, those walls, we thought, Dark with ancient shields.The light Shone on the head of a girl or young limbs Spread carelessly. And the low voices Rose in the silence and were lost as in water. Yet, for all it was quiet and warm as a hand, If one of us drew the curtains A threaded rain blew carelessly outside. Sometimes a wind crept, swaying the flames, And set shadows crouching on the walls, Or a wolf howled in the wide night outside, And feeling our flesh chilled we drew together. But for a while the dance went on – That is how it seems to me now: Slow forms moving calm through Pools of light like gold net on the floor. It might have gone on, dream-like, for ever. But between one year and the next – a new wind blew ? The rain rotted the walls at last ?…

‘The House of Altogether Nothing’ & Other poems by Jan Sand

The House of Altogether Nothing The countryside in which it stands Is broken with large jagged rocks. Its trees are dark, from northern lands, Whose branches scratch the sky; boney bough knocks One against the other. Cold winds finger through Odd strands of captured human hair, Torn newspaper strips look as if they grew Amongst the leaves to bleakly declare Of violence and despair. Black groves smell Of damp decay. They display white fungoid growth Through which black insects grope, explore a shell Deserted by a snail that caps its glowing trail. One is loathe To venture near this place of threats But winding through dead leaves, broken rubble Is the path where stumble those, full of regrets, Replete with fears, burdened with trouble, Pass to reach the house. Its peaks and walls Assault the sky like a cataclysmic scream, Intertwined grotesqueries that captures and enthralls Those destined to drop into its dream. The weary travelers approach in single file, one by one, Trudge to the door which swings open wide. They know their journey’s …

Poetry: A Poetry Series at Deep Water Literary Journal

what is beneath ?   a scrap of satin – some wood   and what is beneath the wood ?   dirt, the earth, it is cold   is it alive ?   it contains the stir of flowers it contains the whispering grass   and above it all ? . some turf the blue sky   what are you listening to ?   my dark blood the heart plays a tattoo beneath this pale linen this wool-stuff   and ?   it listens for the stir of flowers it hears the grass whisper.   What Is Beneath ?’  is © C. Murray Published Deep Water Literary Journal. Issue 2, August 2014 Daddy Long Legs Shard What is Beneath ? What is Above? From The Blind at Oneiros Books