Poetry Showcase -Spring 2012

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Archive of all Poetry Space showcases

No Nation

”˜if you could choose a country’ Moniza Alvi

Cornflower blue blooms between khaki
as a boy lifts his face to smile at the sun.

He has only known dust of a basement,
the smell of rancid water running down
the drain of the road, the hushed voice
of his mother whispering ”˜Silence’
as feet rush by the deserted house

elsewhere men in suits sit around
tables filled with food, finest wines
dicing with words, each letter bearing
a different weight, each weight
a pawn in the chess of language.

There is no need to be understood
others will translate the Babel.

The boy moves towards the cornflowers
seduced by a colour he has never seen
the quiet of the day, the warmth of the sun;
as he approaches the flowers become men.

He stands transfixed by fear they wear blue
helmets, these men have none, and every nation.

© Carolyn O’Connell

In a dark room

Lying in the dark it’s easy
to remember things

you thought you’d forgotten,
the smoky red nap of train
seats in carriages
labelled ”˜Non-smoking’.Like ghosts, long-hushed

sounds whisper –
morning ash being riddled
from the grate, wailing sirens,
my mother’s heartbeat
steps on the attic stairs.

Smells too, seep through cracks
and under doors,
my dentist dad’s minty hands,
Gran’s cinnamon toast, but
try as I might
I can’t get faces into focus.

My eyes squeeze shadows
from corners, pummel
them like potter’s clay, hoping
to mould them into likenesses –
without success. Nor
can I reinvent long-silent words.

In my room’s quiet darkness
past and present
are on the same side and
the dead dance foxtrots,
flirt and kiss, never once
looking back to fill in the dots.

© Moira Andrew


I am ”¦
The way sand dunes are to desert storm
uprooted trees to hurricanes
Curd to milk
Cheese to sour cream
Child to mother
Tides to oceans
Ice to water
Annihilation to power

I come after,
emerge from,
walk on footsteps
Trodden pathways,
afterword to a glorious saga
suffix to a word,
a colon, hyphen or even an exclamation mark!
but not a full stop!
.”¦to her!

© Prem Kumari Srivastava (India)

Homeless Word

I’m homeless word
my language’s gone
out of the line
I’m trying to find
a place where I belong
you can’t find me in any dictionary
I’m lost in other words
other worlds

you can hear me in country song
in child’s first words
in homeless man curse
in lovers’ whisper
in silence

but it’s only a while
and I dissapear
somewhere I exist
in the middle of the middle
in the world and beyond the world

I exist
I do exist

© Piotr Balkus


A Whisker Away from Annihilation

The cat shins up the tree,
The Savage Reaper for any young bird
Gorging itself in fat ball ecstasy
Without an eye to the predator.

A near run thing for these birds!
But a strong lesson taught –
There is Cruelty in this world
From those not in need of food
But desirous of malevolent sport.
Take that away with you, my young friends;
This time you may have escaped unhurt
But you need to be on constant alert
For the steely-eyed rapacious Hunter!

© Tony Sainsbury

Dreams for 2012

Unfetter the sinews of my heart
Unfetter the sinfulness of my soul
Unfetter prejudices in my life
Anchors keeping me to safe shores

Unfetter the energy holding me back
Unfetter secrets in my heart
Unfetter my body bound by shame
My spirit held to blame

Heal the wounding in God’s Holy Name
Unfetter 2012.
May all dreams, be reality.

© Heleena Yates

Love Song

(to Mr. and Mrs. Somuah, with love)

Treat me like a queen
And bury me in your honey heart.
Let your eyes guide my every path
And smell me afar, like grapes in spring time.

Love me for who I am
And warm me in your arms of natural touch.
Let your lips,
Brewed from an African pot,
Burn my emotions of longing lust
To drive my cold, in this rainy storm.

© Michael Kwaku Kesse Somuah (Ghana)


We always wake – or else each night
Would fight sleep like illness, refuse
To slip beneath its cloak of infection.
Until. Asleep in a chair, the TV fizzing
Through the watches she sees herself
Folding inwards, sleep out of control

Because blood as soft and quiet
As a rivulet takes a detour. The membrane
Keeping sleep from death tears easy

As a plum skin. Blood floods, rivers, rolls,
Bubbles over the cerebrum, pools.
A corpuscle community
At work healing to death congeals, clots,
Thickens into a thought-flumed sac
In the wrong place. Bleed of sleep, painless.

Later she is found, face slightly bruised, hair
Rusted to the crushed velour. Asleep
Apparently. She won’t wake again.

© Michael Docker

Loch Lomond

My friend squeezes back tears.
I can’t bear to think about it –
Mum gone, Aunt Chris on her own.
The loch appears and disappears,
its waters stealthy with secrets.

I concentrate on parking close
to the cottage wall. We step out
into near-stillness, a shush of waves,
the call of an oyster-catcher.
Aunt Chris erupts down the path.

My dears! She smothers Elsa
in a bear-hug, gathers me into the
huddle. You’ll be needing a drink,
tea? coffee? something stronger?
A tough cookie is Elsa’s Aunt Chris.

Of course, she misses her sister.
What’s done is done, she says.
We toast our toes by the kitchen range,
the kettle hums, a wall-clock ticks,
waves lap stones by the garden gate.

Aunt Chris, serene in her aloneness,
waves us off. I glance at my friend,
Better? I ask. She nods, How about you?
I take a moment, If Mum died, I’d cope,
not if it was Dad ”¦ not if it was Dad.

© Moira Andrew