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Tag: poems

a dove

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What’s new is also old, the world is a button that can’t be pushed, the sky in the firth has occasionally blinked in the train’s blind windows as it crosses the bridge; apart from that, there is a small sound to be heard, but it has only just been heard, no matter if it had always been there.

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a dove mourns

and a grey morning

deals the town

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full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

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a butterfly

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a butterfly

and a leaf shaped like

a butterfly

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Butterfly©Marie Marshall

Two hundred and seven words. 25

The terrain of consolation, where the boys in their cutwater strides stand and communicate in nods, from which corral of young manhood words like “fack” and “cant” occasionally surface, where the girls move like little suns to each bass note, their bras animated in ultraviolet, this terrain, this consolation, is one of show; acute sound is its tide; it is more a jump-on/jump-off satellite, its polar orbit over the horizon for three hours every Sunday, more a church, more a hunting ground, more a road we all walk down at a specific time in our lives, a blink-and-you-miss-it, a little world without gods, a little world where we’re all gods, a challenge; here’s the girl whose mother makes her coffee with water from the hot water tap, and here’s the one who she takes into the shadows of the big trees in the park, their ears still buzzing with music, where they slowly acclimatise to the relative silence, watching the car headlights light up everything else but them; here’s the girl she saw on the bus, and the boy who laughs too loudly for his own good, the girl who has a dog, the girl she remembers skipping when she was small; the little world of temperament

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full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

Persephone

Persephone decides she’d rather
stay in hell, albeit the à-la-carte
consists of pomegranate, cooked
whichever way you might want;
its dull groins are peaceful, you
can tune out the lament, shades’

nights when I hear no gunshots,
the way they echo, one making
two, two four, no orchestration
of sirens panning, I don’t sleep;
walking a street where the walls
aren’t tagged, I can’t decide on

regret for life’s missing pieces;
she’s now besties with Alcestis,
another stay-put, who dug her
nails into Heracles’s hand when
he came to pull her into the day
– “This is MY turf, boy!” she

tracking shadow or light, neither
feels safe; people without hand
signs bring me out in hot sweat;
give me a murderer’s alleyway,
there I can walk without metal
in my purse, away from malls,

says, grim determination, a dun
light reflecting in her eyes, as in
the glance of Eurydice, who has
forsworn the sound of the lyre,
hollowed out a bender, roofed
it with spent javelins, come to

offices, smart skirts, shirts, ties;
I can’t trust people meeting my
eye, not looking sideways at me
pulled over to a door, shoulders
not bent forward to hide; I want
to detour police tape, so much so

an accommodation; down here,
the three tell us, you find knots
of Mithraists don’t huddle round
impromptu braziers, importuning
men with crazy grins are just that
– crazy, no more, easy living with

that on normal streets I’m making
imaginary rectangle paths, I see
chalk outlines in my mind’s eye,
and realise, sighing, that killing
happened, once, over and done at
least; home, to pomegranate pie.

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For DJA

full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

Two hundred and seven words. 24

Ibecame the sand on someone else’s shore, washed and shaped by her waves; the silence after a train passes; the noise an empty suitcase makes when dropped on a carpeted floor; we shared simple meals, deliberately bland, so that the presence of each of us at the table provided the flavour – they were taken in silence, to pare down our reliance on our senses, ambient sounds (perhaps the fluttering of a prayer flag, but we forbade each other to identify it as such) allowed, turning our heads not so, nor letting our eyes stray from each other’s face; conversation came down to this:- every morning I would relate my dreams to her, she hers to me, then we would both forget them, leaving for our respective workplaces, they full of clatter and attention, and afterwards we’d treat our working day as a dream too; once I searched the sky for contrails, she having forbidden the moon (she was away); there was always a book open on our low shelf, always on the same page, at which we never so much as glanced; she never explained, except to say that it was all the austerity of love; I wouldn’t know its colour; it must have had one

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Please follow this link to discover my strange connection with the Ivan Franko University in Lviv. And this one to see pictures of the event.

full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

 

Basile Jean Barès

Seen from inside, the open store front’s

a kind of trapezium, in it there are passing

legs and torsos but seldom faces, unless

someone bends, genuflects to check out

what’s boxed in the shadows beyond the

young man’s back, him in vest, sleeves;

outside it’s hot, sweaty; inside hot, dusty;

there’s a smell of fresh wood and the tang

of metal wire rubbed by his fingers – look,

there’s a callous on one tip – and I wonder

what I’d feel if I placed my hand on your

shoulder, how the muscles would move, if

your hair would scent bitter because you’re

male; and if I’d somehow hear what you do,

a little waltz running around in your mind.

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Let’s trip a little mazurka like the flip of a silver

coin, like the first shout from the street at early

light, scratch the first bar of an allemande on

the back of an envelope, hum the melody of a

possible valse, think “And this belongs to me.”

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Basile Jean Barès©Marie Marshall

Angelique Jamail has kindly featured on of my poems in her blog today.

There’s too much dawn

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There’s too much dawn, far too many bees,

for me to write about love, the damn terrain

where I lost one boot, my mind, and several

pounds; spring, you see, means hacking at

the weeds again, more time for the new light

to show the awfulness that winter hid away;

we come too soon to Easter, pain, but you,

you, you – the word hammers in my head,

what more could spring reveal about you

than the stuff I’ve tried, failed, to conceal –

and funnily enough that says more about me

than you; so here I am, my arse cold, numb

from sitting on a rock, me refusing to get up,

and love, that old bugger, like your present

image before my mind’s eye, like self-rage

and laughter, joy at dawn and those bees too,

yeah, love, staying, not going anywhere, eh?

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full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

bee

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solitary bee

motoring towards his own

equilibrium

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let’s give him purpose

– he stops for nectar or rest –

sun waking colour!

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one early walker

hears something like a kazoo

and can’t help smiling

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full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

When Siouxsie played Brighton

“… what thou gorgeous wearest, which scarcely keeps thee warm.”

Wm. Shakespeare, King Lear, 2.iv.

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Jennifer by Andrew Ratcliffe

‘Jennifer’ by Andrew Ratcliffe

When Siouxsie played Brighton we
cottaged by the sea, you, me, a bunch
in a transit the colour of dubious day
an hour before light; with one broken

drumstick you played a kind of Roma
music on the guard of an old lecky fire
and I kissed every line of your scowl
and you let me, you let me; we slept

side by side, our shoulders cold out
of our sleeping bags, so we could
wake with our fingers knitted, right
hand to left; you stayed, as guard to

a derry, keeping it for homeless folk;
it rained before I left, I wore nothing to
be dry, shivered in the train, de-Edened,
but believing that two moons, you, me,

could only collide again, and soon, by
the demands of gravity, by its laws;
never; that’s a hard word, but I guess
I’ve grown up, and grown up with it.

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full-moon-icon-hi©Marie Marshall

Answering Emily Dickinson’s ‘Wild Nights’

Answering poems by Emily Dickinson, often with a love song to her, really belongs to an earlier stage of my poetry. If you want to know why I have written one out of the blue, read this blog post, including the comments.

Answering Emily Dickinson's 'Wild Nights'

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©Marie Marshall