City Dawn

I sit back and wonder at the rising of the sun

The morning dew still falling, the grasses glisten

The city’s waking up, I can tell, the buses have started to run

And the early dog walkers clatter past

Coaxing and cursing in equal measure

While I sit writing at my leisure

For me the day starts as any other

My occupations and engagements far away

I might have coffee with my brother

Or read a book by the canal, of the sky’s not too grey

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Live poetry reading

I just came home from a literary event which I helped to organise, and I got some lovely feedback (from audience, not speakers, thankfully). I’m a relative newbie at reading my own poems in particular, despite having recited some Heaney and Yeats at an event last July, and I found it difficult to decide how best to approach speaking.

I had this question going through my head when I was asked to read at a poetry event in Alboraya, a village just outside Valencia in June. I had a poem that felt urgent and I think that the crowd almost felt scared by my overblown theatricality during delivery. Afterwards I reasoned that maybe I had gone too far too fast.

So my question is, how do you like your poetry delivered? With gusto? With boiling rage? With raw emotion and urgency? With quiet passion? Slowly and deliberately enunciated? Or with humour and self-deprecation?

Answers on a postcard please. Expect a new(ish) poem soon.

Poem quoting out of context song lyrics

Oft repeated lines

closed, interstitial times

Never failed to democratise,

criticise the eyes that light up

when you shut up

and go your own way

so far away,

singing a song that’s not your own

in a land where you’re unknown

and you see the signs in those oft repeated lines

text and ties, unloved and foreign

played for a fool, not your time

used your tongue to tie around the neck

of a slippery fish, not to be seen

to be obscene, ludicrous

a joke, not funny though, a lack of euro

not young, not thin, not full of wine

a chailín óg na mbriathar what could you possibly find

in this Wreck, this sandbar, this sunken face

where are those oft repeated lines

the signs o’ the times,

between the signs of age

not your words, nor mine falling on their page

but I digress, I feel pain in my chest,

a heartsick pain, a desire for your flow

unkindness wilting in your shadow

Oft repeated lines, running down my face,

silver whiskers on my brows and chin

running from an angel, running on empty

Running out of words and my well runs dry,

Who will repeat my words if I do not?

Words are all I have, and oft repeated

lines

Alone Among Oranges

I splashed past a flooded orange grove

Fruit bursting with juice hanging low on the branches

And greening around the slits where they have split open

wind and gravity hurling them to the ground,

The normally parched earth shining muckily through rivulets of spring rain

that came down harder than we ever expected.

A wet season, they said. Winter. This winter at any rate.

Puddles collecting at every zebra crossing,

stressed parents manhandling plastic covered prams

And style-conscious ladies flashing designer welllies,

Their annual show, finding excuses to parade through the square,

giggling and shrieking as they sprint to avoid the spray from delivery vans.

They remind me of birds, preening and presenting, using the rain as a weapon

a tool in their hunt.

A long-limbed snowy egret stands alone amidst the fallen oranges

Her eyes sweep the scene, watching vigilantly.

The rain continues to fall. I pass and the moment is gone.

Perhaps she is still waiting there.

 

 

I haven’t written a post in a long time. I hope you will forgive the rushed quality.

Welcome Inn

via Daily Prompt: Hospitality

Join me here, under the sign, the Welcome Inn, it says in rhyme.

Well, come in stranger, do not fear, we’re all friends who have not met you here,

You shall eat our bread and drink our beer, for we only accept those in good cheer

A full stomach you can not refuse, for there’s little else you have to lose

and there’s little else we have to gain, your presence is a sweet refrain.

We shall sing and dance, our music lifting any sunken spirits which still need shifting

And speaking of shifting, we have beds, which can be used for many heads.

The beds are cosy, warm and clean, and the prices suit the most humble means

Well, come in stranger, it’s not the end, merely a new place to meet your friends