Bridge of Tolka, Drumcondra Park, spelter baluster, pewter spate. Spectre of Swan’s liturgy, philtre of Stac’s refrain, and peroxide Ida, acid exchange student, your college green a prairie to our Botanics. You sexed me with a buttercup, highly, and yogi-sat akimbo. Oh Ida, we shoulda. I’da!
Where are you now, Obama bounden, marked for McCain, bankrupt in Ohio, divorced in Union City? Do men put their words into your mouth in Idaho? Are you a mother of succour or did you die purple-hearted by the tracks in Maine?
I’ll seek you high and low in Isle au Haut, I’ll trade Manhattan for rosary beads and pray for an apparition, I’ll drop into every dive from Atlantic City to shining Zee, and go over Niagara in a glass-bottomed boat, looking for my Tolka naiad.
But should all peroxide Idas look the same, I’ll find out what Martinis are and drink them dry, I’ll down firewater without reservation in the Indian nations, I’ll find a night door and wait for you there as longing, unquiet as the Tolka flows.
Dear foot, you are as much a part of me as this thought. I see our veins the doctor said were not of concern “at this stage”. I’m sorry for thinking you were ugly, now I need you, you are lovely. Don’t think of socks as hoods for kidnapped hostages kept in the dark In a humid, sweltering basement, Think of them as robes of armour and invisibility So you can go everywhere without being seen. And now forgive me, I have to talk to Righty.
Photo: This text as I typed it into my notes on my phone the other morning. It came to me while getting dressed. You can argue that this is not a poem but do I care? (Screenshot from Evernote)
I am reading for this competition, with closing date 31 August. If you enter a short story early, yours might get to be the best so far and then fend off quite a few or maybe lead all the way. In other words, send in! I love reading brand new fiction.
We’re back with a competition for inclusion in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 12. Open to international entries. Closing date will be August 31, 2022. Entry fee £5. There are ten prizes, as follows:
On a vaporetto back from the island, turbulent wake of Murano jade splashes about us out in the stern.
The sun is chasing platinum facets from the lagoon to molten confiserie. We roll with the swell, then into dock.
Children awestruck, the engine reversing churns the canal like a waterspout and our vessel wallows by the wharf.
Where we go there’s not much shade but water trickles always from a tap to the pavement, for us and for the birds.
Photo: Venice lagoon in bright sunlight with view of a small cargo boat, its boatman in the stern. In the background is the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. I took this photo while on the journey referred to in the above poem, returning from Murano to Venice. (2001)