Poems
 Litle Red Hen  About SBS  TP List  Some Verses  Some Prose  Extracts from the Plays  This Weeks's Performances  Jack Hughes

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Some Poems:

 

 

For the Muse

ma’am I am

incarcerated

wave my claws at freedom

you do not expect a crab

to flower, why pick on me?

                                 1957

 

Fatal

early on, mist stood around

snuffling under trees in the parkland.

towards midday when I was out for a walk

the sun shone with clumsy October warmth.

my fingers smoothing the nape rolled

an infant spider into a crumb of agony,

dropped him away.

                                      1965

 

 

Married 

 

the site

freehold

owning

being owned

 

willed

coordinates

plotted

crosswords

 

till death from the

penalty spot

a letter-go

a millstone

                                          1979

 

 

At The Havelock Square End

 

personalities, those terraced

faces. they catch the sun and

fill the screen when the camera

lifts from the field of play;

they wriggle at interstices, unique

pasty platelets, one-celled, dancing

like a wall of leaves, like

a tower of midges on a spring evening.

                                       1985

 

The *Fiagach

[*Irish for  tope, a small shark]

Beneath the surface of the unconscious sea

flashes the Fiagach seeking whom he may devour.

All my lucid alcoholic days I never

dreamt of him at all. I was too sure of

myself. Always. She never was.

 

When she was gone, I had this other dream: a big

fiery dangerous looking insect, buzzing all over the sky

like a flying prawn, & it was bothering me, & I went

after it with the edge of a vice grip to smash it,

& every time I pinned it down it fizzed like an electric clapper &

shifted its shape, slithered away, lit off & flew at the wall

of the room, but always it shifted to the shape of some other

grosser insect... & I kept after, pinned it at the last

under a stone. I crushed it between two flat stones,

& could feel the carapace crackle, & when  I looked, from squelched

& rusty bits it came together, grew until it stood

on all six legs again like a queer enamelled miniature exhibit,

scarlet & emerald & black; & then it started extruding you know those things

at airports, passenger gangways that open out like concertinas - them.

It put out six or seven, & on the end of every one

was another exhibit, striking & lovely, but each in the form

of one of the shapes it had taken earlier trying to escape.

So I wound up with a paradigm of scarabs, an arrested mobile.

First I stamped it out & then this happened,

& I felt drained & astonished & sad & peaceful. When I woke,

I knew in some way, that had been herself &

that's what I'd done to her, having to be right

all the time. (And I suppose you're proud of yourself? - No,

no no. How could you be proud of a dream?)

 

End-of-summer gale rushes thru the sky; sally & hawthorn

branches over my kitchen window flail

at tumbling flocks of cloud. The Insect is long gone,

crunched to fine sand. Day before yesterday 7th September

I found a dead tope embedded, at the tidemark,

the Fiagach himself, half eaten by the sea, clutching

his last few pages of tough board skin, his lifetime papyrus,

a bursted sigilla; ribs & spine like a musical

couch, a bass lyre, an insight, a missed opportunity.

                                                   1988

 

 

Ungrammatical Obituary for 1954

 

Kneel, ever since, at the Altar of Repose,

on ineffable prayer-alert, before the whitefire

monstrance, wall of flowers and candleflames,

coarse soutane itching like scruples -

& O to be at a safe distance in

rainwash forgiveness! from the shoal:

aspirations with no mind, lust-herrings, gashes -

a summer lawn, a humming underskin

                                                1994

[Litle Red Hen] [About SBS] [TP List] [Some Verses] [Some Prose] [Extracts from the Plays] [This Weeks's Performances] [Jack Hughes]
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