“We’re fighting for soil, land, food, trees, water, birds. We’re fighting for life.” – Gregorio Mirabal, Indigenous leader and coordinator of the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)
the Amazon burns! No one
quells the fires
air; knowledge is lost in the fire.
Waters run polluted! No one
seeks to free fish
or children drinking poison.
Air spins in cyclones
destroying all under its twisting cloud
flooding the earth.
Metal is used to make war
are called predators by those who’ve only known comfort.
Are we but people
whatever language colour, creed
we came from one source?
But will expire
in our own detritus
unless we care for our planet
which will spin
into the void of extinction
unless we care for it and others.
© 2019, Carolyn O’Connell
Thanks to G.Jamie Deeds
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
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.
A February day was drawing in,
called by the light of silver birches
guarding the garden; their branches
whispering the wind to evergreens.
They spoke of times almost forgotten
when the Manor House ruled over
acres of farm and woodland, only
one house remains to tell the history,
as I watched the skies shadowed
the sun sapped, suddenly
a bird flew over alone; a cloud
that swept the sky with shapes.
The birds signalled to each other
the safe way home to roosts
murmuring, diving, flying in formation
until they descended, covering trees with
black bird-leafs hanging on silver branches.
12 February 2018
© Published issue 285 Jan 2019
Had the following poem in this anthology celebrating the river and its voices . It was inspired by Jon Gorman and edited by Barry Woods and is dedicated to the memory of the late Cheshire poet Tonia Bevans. Over 40 poets have poems in this celebratory anthology which was launched on National Poetry Day. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy £3.99 including postage.
Carolyn O’ Connell
Your song beats beneath M60’s ring roads, Merseyway
bringing ballads of the Goyt and Tame, the colours
of long gone dyes, cloth woven, and the hint of heathers
held in water, murmurs from the moor’s high gorge.
Despite your ride beneath Stockport’s sixties concrete
here the drooping hands of urban trees catch your birth,
cradling you in industries track, concrete, rags of cotton
spun in the mills you and your daughters turned.
Your voice sings the strength of Mercia’s lost kings
Northumberland’s craving peaks and wild seas,
you hold strong the boundary trench between
Cheshire and Northumbria still.
Slim trace here of the anthems you’ll extol,
that rushing travellers hear – unmoved or
unheeding shoppers snub; Heaven’s Gift
begins its winding melody of life until
it rings abroad as your wide skirts dip the Atlantic
and Liverpool harmonizes your history with the sea ©