Taster poems




They are selling the sky and I wonder how –
by the yard, like bolts of silk, or in fixed amounts,
pre-wrapped in cellophane? (If you can’t see it, look again.)

They are selling the long, flat sky that sails
over the freeway, billboards and telephone poles,
a picture rail for satellites and sparks from a solar kite.

They are selling the deep, lagoon-blue sky,
its breeze carrying thistledown, salt, a bird of prey,
folding a lake into waves, leaves into an autumn drain.

Someone is buying the sky’s voluminous wind,
its full-bellied breath turning wheels to spin the currents
that run this eager world, its streets of glistening light.

Someone is buying the sky and I grow afraid –
for the rise and fall of my chest, for inhaling doubt,
for what we will do when the sky runs out.

“Currents” was first published in Popshot, Issue 7: The Power Issue;
See the wonderful illustration by Tim McDonagh here:
Popshot, Issue 7

Live Canon recorded a video of “Currents” read by Mairin O’Hagan.

The Wold’s Inn

It started with a buzzing, a rough buzzing
in my head and behind my eyes, but then
it moved outside, beyond the door – a sudden
shift in pitch, a dopplered soprano sting.
I looked around the pub. No one in sight
was bothered by the sound or even stirred,
drinks in hand they talked on undeterred.
I watched the barman pull two heavy pints,
thick and slow.  Saw them enter, curved
and thin, vibrating in their tight long coats,
a ring of solid black around their throats.
The bar whirred as they drank, undisturbed,
and left – I sighed but didn’t say a word.
The locals know the wild must be served.

“The Wold’s Inn” won the Greenwich Borough prize in the inaugural Live Canon Poetry Competition