The Poetry Festival at McGregor
As a taste of the delights that were on offer, here are some of my favourites from the pens of the participating poets. (short ones to save my typing fingers)
by Finuala Dowling
I live in a large green house
with my daughter and three dogs.
Also here you my find sister,
and no cat.
People sometimes ask about the cat.
by Graham Dukas
Standing on the cusp
between walkway and roadway
Prisoner of the waiting moment
a pausing between here
and somewhere else
I am the face of commerce;
Colgate toothpaste, to be exact,
which has me smiling
across the breadth of my bench
and when you are here
shaded from the sun
or kept dry from the rain
mylips hover above your neck
and you have no idea
that when you leave
on the eight-forty-five for town
my smile will be for the memory
of our moment together.
On realising I am in love with you
by Kerry Hamerton
I wanted a man with a tall stride and
berry brown legs.
A long-haired surfer with an earing
and a six-pack
A self-made man.
A millionaire. A bespectacled genius.
I'm sure my ad said ;
'must love dogs'
And I got you.
by Helen Moffett (always makes me nostalgic for the time when my children were young, and had ponies)
As dusk settled down, so did the horses
and for a spell, life would hang in
perfect balance; gleam of liquid eyes,
noses nudging in troughs; one of the
bolder cats trowling from his perch
on a broad back; outside.
the resident owls warming up
for half and hour's counterpoint
of notes soft and deep
as the darkness catching the trees;
inside warmth rising like bread
from my pony's sturdy frame
as I'd lean against his barrel girth;
the toasty smell of oats and molasses
all underpinned by the steady rhythm
of chomping; more soothing, consoling
than any lullaby
by Shaun Kirk
My pen taps restlessly against tes desk
like water dripping into a basin
thoughts spill an wash
out into an ebbing sea
where they dance in the tide
until theare marooned on empty beaches
I try in vain to pry them from settlement,
torend them into use.
I tug an pull at unbending cords,
burn the skin from my palms,
but they will not yeild to me.
My mortality becomes apparent
as the dust settles around me,
unspoken words dissolve and vanish.
What life is really like
by Beverley Rycroft
You need to toughen up
my father would complain
when I was small.
I ought to take you to see
chickens having their heads
that would teach you
what life is really like
He'd seek me out
when one of his pigeons
crazed for home or
mad with terror from a
would tumble into the loft
wire or beak.
I was the one made to
clench my palms round
its pumping chest,
to keep it still while
my father's hairy fingers stitched
it's garotted throat
angily to rights again.
You see life is a fight for survival
he'd shout, forgetting
he was not lecturing his students
or giving his inaugural address
You gotta roll with the punches.
I waited and waited for that bitter
roughness to spy me and circle
in to land
years and years
of flinching anticipation until
the day I came home from hospital
and my father dressed my wound.
Easing with practised hands
the drip from my bulldozed chest
he renewed the plater in breathing silence
never speaking never
Life's a bastard
by Kelwyn Sole
Autumn works away like a carpenter
dismantling the promises of spring
our shelters brought so slowly down
it's hard to recollect when each wall
fell, foretell when each corrupt plank
will crumble . Too lush a green
is the colour that warps away
from the grass to leave a yellow
dull as urine from a spiteful god,
but a reference we are used to.
To go on liveing here, requires a house,
a cat, and an expectation at least
about a future where the eggs
can poach, the cat heave its body
with a thump through the small door
that human hands have sawn for it;
requires a house, preferably of stone,
squatting its grey toad weight on the land
and refusing to budge for anyone
Such houses are no longer built