Drawing by Judith Wolfe

JOHN O'CONNOR /

Poems



      Coming & Going

      push the gravestone over
      it's just another life or two
      ended near this shore
      of grinding pebbles and swell
      drawing back

      it's the steepness of the fall
      the plunge of marble
      loosed by two or three kids
      one saturday night
      their mate getting lucky

      in the beat-up six
      at trackside -
      her angles as sharp
      as the beaches'
      in that moment of stillness
      before the assault of waves


      Two Senryu

      after the show
      the stripper drops
      her smile


      ageing streetwalker -
      only one out
      in the cold


      Classic

      (flashback)

      indeed
      a romantic figure             sound
      of carillon drowned out
      by sirens             a brutish industrial canal
      lined in behind him

      those terraced houses!
      through such streets in lamplight!

      never in the finest polished
      prose of his contemporaries
      such hair! such
      eyes! such attitude

      in the legends of the valleys
      in the ministrations of mumbling rains
      in the songs of mechanical sparrows

      in the meanings of sorrow &
      pastiche

      -low moon over rooftops

      *

      (a fine day in the present)

      the elder poet ingests his own verses
      eyeing acclaim like an arvuncular

      telepreacher        being comely
      she is writing the 6th volume

      of her autobio having reached 19 &
      ready to tell you

      all there is to know
      her is to love

      her
      hair her eyes - such eyes!

      his hand shakes
                               (& rests on cheek & chin)

      a smile blesses with dilation

      *

      out of frame
                          they adjust the lights
      her hand in his
                            no - his in hers

      (low moon over rooftops)

      such a cover!
      such a story!

      & they find each other so interesting
      despite the years

      because of the years rolling down
      the valley

      turning its nature outwards              invisible

      fingers              adjust the flow
      of viel

      the fall of stars


Return to CONTENTS