Every Time is the Last Ever

EVERY TIME IS THE LAST EVER

"We know not the hour"

How many more times will I walk downstairs
and what last things have I already seen?
The day before the night, the last round of the clock.
The year I went home, never to see Dublin again.
Our last Christmas dinner: that was it, no leftovers.
L’chaim! When we met in the pub in twenty-eighteen,
We shared those last embraces before the pandemic.
And the last poem I ever wrote, well is this it?

Photo: Bathmat towel with a random thread that looks like the number 78 on it.

Shtisel Said It All

SHTISEL SAID IT ALL

Nobody's dead, it's okay.
The people who made you
are in you. And those you knew,
whose folks were in them too,
came into you as well.
And the crowd of you mingled
into the crowd of them,
Late arrivals ringing, appeared
and oh the reunions,
the smiles, the sorrys,
and the laughter.

Photo: The Bohemian Society, Dublin. My grandfather Peter Moran is seen in profile, seated on the right. I don’t know who the others are or the date, possibly late 1930s.

Last Day, Final Reductions

LAST DAY, FINAL REDUCTIONS

Wake up to
A bubble in my ear.
And in my other ear.

Sit.

A gap under the door.
The idea of a mouse exhausts me.

My attitude is no good.

My skin is no good.

                    My history is no good.

                    My character is no good.

                                        My personality is no good.

My behaviour is no good.

                                        My poetry is no good.

                                        I am no good.

                    Make a note.

Photo: Mothercare store closed (Harrow, June 2022). Handwritten signs on the windows say “Last Day” and “Final reduction” .

The Weight of Words

THE WEIGHT OF WORDS

The number of all the raindrops that ever fell on England
raised to all the snowflakes that ever fell on Japan
that number of words,
would not outweigh a pinch of wild cotton
as would make a pillow
for a dormouse.
Maybe I should rename this poem “Cotton On”.

Come up and see me in Kentish Town

I’ll be popping in to read for a few minutes as a guest poet before the main act. I’ll bring copies of my book and sign them for you, unless you would like one of the rare unsigned ones. (The old jokes are the best.)

June 12th – Judi Sutherland reading from her new pamphlet ‘Following Teisa’ introduced by Pauline Sewards. Here’s the Facebook event link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1705216489818793/

7:30 pm, Sunday, June 12th
Torriano Meeting House
99 Torriano Ave, London NW5 2RX.

Tickets £5/£6 on the door.

The Missing Step

THE MISSING STEP

If I think of a poem
as I take the next step
on the stairs of my home,
I will fall to my death

and you'll never have known
that I loved you the best,
because I lost that poem
when I missed the next step.

Photo: Traditional eve of Mayday bouquet on doorstep

Unquiet Flows the Tolka

UNQUIET FLOWS THE TOLKA

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.

(2008)


Photo: The Tolka river viewed from the bridge at Drumcondra
Just waving

Words by Jackie Morris

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