This anthology confronts something difficult: when our news bullintens reel off disaster after disaster, how do we respond to voilence and tragedy? It takes a poet to make sensce of it. In this document for troubled times, contempory poets offer their response in various ways – grieving, consoling, protesting questioning and measuring losses.
Profits will be donated to Médicins Sans Frontièrs
I feel honoured to be included thanks to Moria Andrew and Susan Sims
In the summer of 2018, John Greening spent 2 weeks as artist-in-residence at the Heinrich Boll cottage in Dugort, Achill Island. The resulting Achill Island Tagebuch is a sequence of 24 Shakespearean sonnets, in the mode of Boll’s own Irisches Tagebuch – a journal, day book, or diary – and is an elegant, yet often roundly colloquial record of Greening’s communings with self, landscape and literary influences. As he says, there is as much of “what I dreamt as what I did” and there is a finely judged cocktail here of the island’s life of countryside, tourism and local bars, plus the artistic presence of Boll himself, but also Yeats, Heaney, John. F. Deane, Dennis O’Driscoll, Lady Gregory and Dermot O’Byrne (the latter being composer Arnold Bax in his poetic mode).
Greening’s long-established deftness with poetic form is on full display here but it is the (seeming) ease of encompassing…
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A Poem from my collection Timelines was selected as one of the April poems of the month on Second Light Live. I feel honored to be chosen. This is the poem
Diamonds fall on glass, rain on the window
patterns of water shimmering in the dawn
not precious gems, eternal settings of graphite
pressed for millennia beneath specific rocks.
Worn by women as tokens of affection, pride
of their menfolk as they sport rich gifts,
the carat of a poor man pledging life
a bauble cast unheeding by the oligarch.
One set of diamonds a young mother wore
token not of love but duty to be done
her pledge no to a single man but
to a race she never wished was hers
and on that day the diamonds were returned
to wait in silence for another’s brow,
now a lifetime’s past, children then undreamt
walk streets changed beyond concept,
all that was sixty years ago.
Poem published in collection, Timelines, Indigo Dreams, 2014
Collection: Timelines, Indigo Dreams, 2014, ISBN 978-1-909357-53-2, £7.99
Anthology: Mirrored Voices Emerging Poets Anthology, Star Investment Strategies LLC, 2015, ISBN 978-1-5077107-1-5, £6.95.
Timelines is also available at Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timelines-Carolyn-OConnell/dp/1909357537/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Carolyn+O%27Connell&qid=1555078862&s=books&sr=1-1-catcorr
The following poem was published in the April issue of Reach Poetry 247
Thanks to Ronnie Goodyer the Editor for selecting it.
Transactions on Thursdays
The last snow had melted, slowly the days’ length
etched into a pattern of rising, brightening hours;
doors slowly opened, boats swayed in tides
the town waited for the Dutchman
who would tie up on Thursday.
All winter women filled the baskets with bulbs
platting them into skein-species that hung
in coils waiting for hands to drape them in baskets
lined around the hold of the ship skippered by
the Dutchman who took them on Thursdays.
Then the market would fill with flag-fluttered stalls
displaying bursting bulb-baskets, ready to ship
and bales of lace crocheted by skilled fingers
all for the Dutchman who would buy
when he came to purchase on Thursdays.
Then the Dutchman sailed down river to the sea,
in boats filled with bulbs and lace ready to sell
to the astute market men ready to buy
from the Dutchman delivering the newest promise
for investors waiting on Thursdays.
Works and Days of Division – 29 poems by Martyn Crucefix
Drawing on two disparate sources, this sequence of mongrel-bred poems has been written to respond to the historical moment in this most disunited kingdom. Hesiod’s Works and Days – probably the oldest poem in the Western canon – is a poem driven by a dispute between brothers. The so-called vacana poems originate in the bhakti religious protest movements in 10-12th century India. Through plain language, repetition and refrain, they offer praise to the god, Siva, though they also express personal anger, puzzlement, even despair. Dear reader – if you like what you find here, please share the poems as widely as you can (no copyright restrictions). Or follow this blog for future postings. Bridges need building.
‘this morning round noon’
this morning round noon we scattered the ashes
likeclicklike my son Thom 21 today
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A shield for those who have courage and take the risk,
a crowbar for those put in cages, persecuted and tortured,
a megaphone for those who have been silenced,
a memory that will not forget, no matter how stealthy the lies,
remote the dungeon or weak the muted voice
speaking truth to power from behind thick walls.
Who dares defile the sacrament of word?
Try to silence one of us and a hundred will speak out.
Try to lock one of us up and a thousand keys appear.
Murder one and 100 thousand poets will expose you
in permanent ink, at open mic, on the stage of the world
where we resurrect the souls of fallen comrades
and lay tyranny bare on the open page for all to see.
Make war, and we’ll be there. Refuse the sick or hungry care,
we’ll be there; exploit the poor or the vulnerable…
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