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ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of Kate Ennals, Gavin Bourke, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Helen Fallon, Mark Young, Michael Lee, Fionnbharr Rodgers and Neil FLynn. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue 89 March 2020


A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website

Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents

Editorial Kate Ennals;

1. The Irish Border 2. A Poem in my hand 3. Asking For It Gavin Bourke;

1. 2. 3. 4.

Aloneness Underneath A Wicker Cross A Life In Our Times At Mercies

Robin Wyatt Dunn; 1. 3 poems by Robin Helen Fallon; 1. Troubles Mark Young; 1. In The Hills All Around 2. Geographies: New York City 3. A nearly impossible malware 4. Bon genre 5. A line from Philip K Dick Michael Lee; 1. Dance of Tears, Chief Nobody 2. Missing Feeding of the Birds 3. Open Eyes Laid Back 4. Tequila Fionnbharr Rodgers; 1. Laugh and Cry and laugh and Cry 2. The road carries on 3. Is my cat a nationalist

On The Wall


Message from the Alleycats Round the Back

Neil Flynn: 1. 2. 3.

In her Eyes Soul The Sound of Silence


Poetry, prose, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: g.greig3@gmail.com See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Or via PEECHO Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://anuanewulster.wixsite.com/anewulster Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image “Dune Flowers� by Amos Greig


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial One of the hardest parts of working on the magazine in the grip of a global pandemic is trying to keep morale up. It is far too easy to succumb to ennui or despair at a time like this we are by nature social creatures, even those with Social Anxiety Disorder on some level crave human company. This issue was meant to be out weeks ago and I apologize for that delay the computer I use to produce each issue stopped working, I had to take it apart, clean out the insides, remount several components and check the hard drive for physical damage. Thankfully there turned out to be nothing wrong with the hardware but the software. I had to do a system restore and then convince Microsoft that it was the same computer so as to get Office working again. I’ve been using this machine for nearly six years things will start to wear out that’s the nature of modern technology and some companies will even release ‘patches’ designed to deliberately slow down older machines to force people to buy newer products. Well I cannot afford a new computer so will repair this one as best as I can, back in 2012 the machine I used then broke and I used the local Library computer to get two issues out before I was able to raise money for a new machine. .

Amos Greig Editor.


Biographical Note: Kate Ennals

Kate Ennals is a prize-winning poet and writer and has published poems and short stories in a range of literary and on-line journals (Crannog, Skylight 47, Honest Ulsterman, The Moth, Anomaly, The International Lakeview Journal, Boyne Berries, North West Words, The Blue Nib, Dodging the Rain, The Ogham Stone, plus). In 2017, she won the Westport Arts Festival Poetry Competition. Her first collection of poetry At The Edge was published in 2015. Her second collection, Threads, was published in April 2018. She has lived in Ireland for 25 years and currently runs poetry and writing workshops in County Cavan. Kate runs At The Edge, Cavan, a literary reading evening, funded by the Cavan Arts Office. Before doing an MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2012, Kate worked in UK local government and the Irish community sector for thirty years, supporting local groups to engage in local projects and initiatives. Her blog can be found at kateennals.com


Teorainn na hÉireann (the Irish Border) At night you swerve through twisted turns, curvaceous bends Past the fork to Crom, steer a third leg of straight where you can overtake. You snake through low-lying mist embracing fields. Lakes rise into nursery rhyme hills beneath white, prickly stars and a cold moon. An occasional gleam shines from a single house on the edge in the dark, where a lone breeched man sits with his gun Driving at midnight, it’s what you imagine. In daylight, window down, elbow out, you breathe the sweet air of pasture, Dinkins fresh baked bread, dung. You drive past stumps of steeple, church spires, grind gears behind Quinn lorries of cement, navigate yellow or white broken lines, negotiate narrow suspicious towns. In between lie run-down shacks selling tyres and fireworks. At Clones / Smithborough, you notice Presbyterians Methodists, Church of Ireland, as well as Catholics… People…you nearly forgot to add people. Yourself, you live in the heart of the island, on the edge of a bog, near a village on the shores of a loch. You call your neighbours friends, except they are not. To them, you kick with the other foot even though they know you don’t kick at all. They remain friendly strangers. You attend village events, mime your presence, gesticulate. Feign days. Raise your children in country schools hidden away in woods and trees. unsure of demeanour, aware of difference, not recognising shrugs Or the cadence and rhythm in strange guttural voices. But, you like the lie of the land as you dig in the dirt: it’s contours, the wilderness of light, the silver evenings stalking black rimmed clouds. You glory in the early morning dew, crisp on bare feet as you tramp to the green house to plant your seeds, the catch of your hair in the branch of tree, the breath in your throat as you watch a blackbird hop, the tinkle of a pink fuchsia bell as it rings forth, the crackle of alder seeds as they whirl to earth. The moist of damp clay roots in the palm of my hand. (Kate Ennals)


A Poem in My Hand Crouched in position, finger pads bent, knuckles bared The aperture between my index finger and thumb is ringed Looking closely, I see a fleshy palm of life and heart. I wait. My spinal cord is knotted, blotted, old, psychotic, stunted, silent. I watch my hand. Nothing happens. It stays still. Patience, I urge, something will. The back of my hand is cabled blue with wrinkles. It’s dermis ripples. It is a sea of bone, swimming with moles But I know it is networked to receive poems. Finally, the hand shifts, drags itself along the page. Words starts to spawn, spatter, stutter, splurge, sift in tune, laboriously, a poem emerges.

(Kate Ennals)


Asking for It (for the Belfast Rugby players) The gloom of room. Edges Of bed. Clusters of spectres Pawing and clawing My stomach gutted Rutted by men Who tell me I want it Prowess and glory Ram gory down my throat Men gloat Vain glorious Stain free Unlike me I stand condemned A woman, one in a million There are millions of me

(Kate Ennals)


Biographical Note: Gavin Bourke

Gavin was born in Tallaght, Dublin and now lives in County Meath, married to Annemarie. He holds a B.A. Degree from DCU, an M.A. Degree in Modern Drama Studies from UCD. His work covers nature, time, memory, addiction, mental health, human relationships, politics, social issues, injustice as well as urban and rural life. He was shortlisted for The Redline Book Festival Poetry Award in 2016 for A Rural Funeral. His poem Unanswered Call is published in the September 2019 issue of Crossways literary Magazine. He was invited to read his work at the Siarsceรกl Literary Festival in October 2019. His ten-page poem Sword Damocles, Falling is published in the current issue of A New Ulster. His poems Getting On and Our Tree will be published in the next issue of the international literary journal Qutub Minar Review. He was highly commended in the Johnathon Swift Creative Writing Awards 2019 for his poem Louisburgh, County Memory. His first book of poetry was shortlisted for the Hedgehog Poetry Press Full Fat Collection Poetry competition in 2019. He has worked in library service for over twenty years.


Aloneness

The slowness, feeling every second at a time, existing just above the waterline. A quiet dignity, tied to a hot water bottle and help for the heart.

Waiting for the old phone to ring or the doorbell to be pressed over the longest days. Lunch-time, dinner-time, night-time, day after day, again. All fading into one long endurance of silent pain. Thick woollen jumpers and used biscuit tins, never expected to be here.

Wallowing in memories, photographs and thoughts. The cracking sounds of the house when the heat goes on, a milestone in every day too long. In between bells ringing, everyday becoming the next without


any real context. Just coping, forty years after a hysterectomy, and babies who died in their infancy. Grown children living too far away preceded by a husband over twenty years deceased, to the callousness of cancer of his pancreas. No whipple procedure could be performed during a slow passing, lasting months.

The trifle bowls and glasses still visible in transparent presses covered in dust, a long time since a human finger’s touch. Affairs now all in order, left to die in a cold house. Waiting for the heart to decide when to halt.

(Gavin Bourke)


Underneath A Wicker Cross

The first touch and encounter, under a warm cover. The closest friend at the time, freeing self from worn tractors trails and an old farm’s entrails. Sacred heart high over the fireplace.

Snuck the books in under a lit wick, in a glass bowl in the sixties. Following the taboo words unadvised by the state, those of a very sensual feminine consciousness, very much awake.

Doing what was not allowed, to do or to feel. Meditative, post-coital, slowing time, slowing heart. Under St Brigid’s wicker cross, falling deeper and deeper into a hard mattress.

Remaining to this day, that which never fully went away. A room never outgrown nor the shape of a tongue. Washed up again after an afternoon, semi-awake having dreamt of drowning in a lake.


Now late in the day, feeling trapped in every way, in a marriage that long since had its heyday.

(Gavin Bourke)


A Life in Our Times

Cut through the tree, passed the drying bark, through the sap. White wood, the colour of ivory. Carved a question in black, into the frictionless surface, like water, moving under the steel blade.

Went like damp wicker under the point, until letters formed before words, into a sentence, into meaning, into consequences.

Into a dying oak of more than a hundred years old. Some stems growing, others never born or died before budding. Blooming leaves, pointing outwards, green, oily with natural sunshine. Feeless art, acorns, sculptures in full fruition.

Under mid-autumn’s, cold, low sunshine.


Beyond the shape or form, to look into the entire structural organism. The silhouette in the glaze of the sun’s shine, the long shadow cast on October grass around the burnt crater.

One year on, the ash blown off by the wind leaving hard, black ground. No regrowth, out of the tarry, scorched, crop circle of melted tyres and rusted oil cans.

They cut the branch that was dangerous, after the lightning strike signified it for separation, before it took the teeth of a steel saw to remove a vital artery.

It heralded the beginning of the decay and return to the ground, to the seed and soil.

(Gavin Bourke)


At Mercies

A mother and father died within a year of each other. Lungs and livers, worn down to ground levels. Eights, sevens and sixes on cold glass clock faces.

The situation of homelessness, rule-less, lawless, merciless, exposed to the elements, and fellow humans. Asleep inside lighthouses facing uncontrollable seas.

Sounds of wooden clocks, in between liminal spaces, post-breakdowns. Normalisations of the hateful, tapped out on glass. The horrors of powerlessness, the lifeblood of bullies and abusers.

The need and desire for a high in a day. The installation of social preferences, impacting brain structures,


for greener grasses which don’t exist. Camera flashes in pitch black darkness.

(Gavin Bourke)


Biographical Note: Robin Wyatt Dunn

Robin is a prolific writer with a number of poetry books to his name

http://www.robindunn.com/


lief means beloved as your hair means grace the after ace affair stark naked and erased from the grand state not anywhere I'd want to be: who mans the standing in and to in the red light and & who gives out a kiss after all the lights are gone (Robin Wyatt Dunn) -it's coming closer in the fear like weather or laundry. who feels it shiver underneath your chin just an invitation to look in (to the dark) I'll sink into the bottom of the boat and watch the black sky twinkle white (Robin Wyatt Dunn) -who's singing to Los Angeles? It must be me. My dead city. Like Lucifer wasted in the night. Junkie in the alley screaming: My beautiful burnt heart. wait for me for the ear the bark chides my sleep charcoal cheek the lights burn dimmer in the deep swimming over my head


if I haunt you, if I should scrape the door; of your eternal nightmare; your sigils wrought with fire your names a head and a wreath your bodies the rocks of rats your writings the testaments of ants awake and sing of your death

(Robin Wyatt Dunn)


Biographical Note: Helen Fallon

Helen Fallon was born in Monaghan and now lives and works in Maynooth. She has published short stories and her poem "Shell-Shocked Land" was a finalist in the Poetry Ireland/Trรณcaire 2019 competition.


Troubles The shovel slices through copper moss and purple heather. Wellingtons squelch on spongy earth. Bog cotton quivers, scatters white seed tufts skyward in the breeze. Footing turf, Da tells me about gold-cloaked mythical warriors - the Tuatha de Danann, who roamed our bogs. A crow watches from the branch of a skeletal tree. The morrigan, Da blesses himself. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of that one, he whispers. She used tell of war and death long ago. We arrange rough sods in lines like soldiers, turn them to dry, upright in wigwam groups. He drinks tea, already milked and sugared from a Chef sauce bottle. Now orange monsters screech across rain-blurred bog, hazard lights glow, their tentacles reach deep into peat layered through a thousand years. A crow brushes off the yellow tape we stand behind. “They got a tip off,” Biddy Brady’s voice rasps cigarette smoke and sorrow. She blesses herself, “some of them that were disappeared are buried here.”

Note: The goddess Morrigan represents the circle of life and death and her symbol is the crow

(Helen Fallon)


Biographical Note: Mark Young

Mark Young lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry since 1959. He is the author of over fifty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, & art history. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. His most recent books are The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books; A Vicarious Life — the backing tracks from otata; taxonomic drift from Luna Bisonte Prods; Residual sonnets from ma press of Finland; The Comedians from Stale Objects de Press; & Old Rhumba from gradient books.


In the hills, all around

She folded the sentence under itself. Glassed-in patios crinkled as the mountains subsided with her tenuous words, & the young Japanese lesbian who was riding along with us vanished among the bracken

& tussock. A bird stands in the center of a stream folding designated scientific reserves in upon themselves. Wolves howl piteously. We count the lambs, remember the Alamo.

(Mark Young)


geographies: New York City

The new pro-breast milk policy stigmatizes colored glass & provides less leg room for creatives to put their ideas out on the table.

(Mark Young)


a nearly impossible malware

Benign activities take place in secret. The governess sends others to be executed in her place. It is purely aesthetic. Scientific methods cannot measure

the effect that has on his pysche any more than it can quantify the emissions of the caribou grazing in the lower paddock. He wakes up sweating. Fever abounds.

(Mark Young)


Bon Genre

I love the aesthetic of this shop. The designer wows with sexy dresses & chunky sweaters.

Came here on black friday looking for a Forties-style silhouette &—success!— finally found some-

thing to wear to my brother's wedding. He has managed to turn himself into the king of the

leather harness, she has just the prettiest eye color. I must write a review. Ugh. (Mark Young)


A line from Philip K. Dick

Based on most premises of psychosocial development, nothing on my car should work; but, like a truly good child, it doesn't need watching. Regulations will make it nearly impossible to create any new coal-fired electricity

plant in the United States, & politicians will bask in the glow of their bright & beautiful partners. The future you desire can be now be created from a blank sheet of paper. Nothing is real, but must be paid for in instalments.

(Mark Young)


.

Biographical Note: Matthew Lee

Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 38 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018. 198 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: the Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.


Dance of Tears, Chief Nobody (V5) By Michael Lee Johnson I’m old Indian chief story plastered on white scattered sheets, Caucasian paper blowing in yesterday’s winds. I feel white man’s presence in my blindnesscross over my ego my borders urinates over my pride, my boundariesI cooperated with him until death, my blindness. I’m Blackfoot proud, mountain Chief. I roam southern Alberta, toenails stretch to Montana, born on Old Man River− prairie horse’s leftover buffalo meat in my dreams. Eighty-seven I lived in a cardboard shack. My native dress lost, autistic babbling. I pile up worthless treaties, paper burn white man. Now 94, I prepare myself an ancient pilgrimage, back to papoose, landscapes turned over. I walk through this death baby steps, no rush, no fire, nor wind, hair tangled− earth possessions strapped to my back rawhide− sun going down, moon going up, witch hour moonlight. I’m old man slow dying, Chief nobody. An empty bottle of fire-water whiskey lies on homespun rug, cut excess from life, partially smoked homemade cigarbarely burning, that dance of tears. *Music Video Credit: Native American Indian Music - Sunset Ceremony- Earth Drums 02 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtdYWcoYKWo


Missing Feeding of the Birds (V3) By Michael Lee Johnson Keeping my daily journal diary short these sweet bird sounds lostreviews January through March. Joy a dig deep snow on top of my sorrows. Skinny naked bones sparrows these doves beneath my balcony window, lie lifeless without tweet no melody lost their sounds. These few survivors huddle in scruffy bushes. Gone that plastic outdoor kitchen bowl that held the seeds. I drink dated milk, distraught rehearse nightmares of childhood. Sip Mogen David Concord Wine with diet 7Up. Down sweet molasses and pancake butter. I miss the feeding of the birds, these condominiums regulations, callous neighbors below me, Polish complaints. Their parties, foul language, Polish songs late at night, these Vodka mornings-no one likes my feeding of birds. I feel weak and Jesus poor, starving, I can’t feed the birds. I dry thoughts merge day with night, ZzzQuil, seldom sleep. Guilt I cover my thoughts of empty shell spotted snow these fragments, bone parts and my prayersJesus dwelling in my brain cells, dead birds outside. I miss feeding of the birds.


Open Eyes Laid Back By Michael Lee Johnson Open eyes, black-eyed peas, laid back busy lives, consuming our hours, handheld devices grocery store “which can Jolly Green Giant peas, alternatives, darling, to bring home tonightthese aisles of decisions.” Mind gap: “Before long apps will be wiping our butts and we, others, our children will not notice.” No worries, outer space, an app for horoscope, astrology a co-pilot to keep our cold feet tucked in.


Tequila (V5) By Michael Lee Johnson Single life is Tequila with a slice of lime, Shots offered my traveling strangers. Play them all deal them jacks, some diamonds then spades, hold back aces play hardball, mock the jokers. Paraplegic aging tumblers toss rocks, Their dice go for the one-night stand. Poltergeist fluid define another frame. Female dancers in the corner Crooked smiles in shadows. Single ladies don’t eat that tequila worm dangle down the real story beneath their belts. Men bashful, yet loud on sounds, but right times soft spoken. Ladies men lack caring verbs, traitors to your skin. Ladies if you really want the worm, Mescal, don’t be confused after midnight.


Biographical Note: Claire Lawrence Claire Lawrence is a storyteller and mixed-media visual artist based in the wilds of British Columbia. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications worldwide including Geist, Litro, Ravensperch, and Ouen Press’ Anthology. Her art has been accepted by Black Lion Journal, Esthetic Apostle, and Fracture Nuance. She was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. Her goal is to write and publish in all genres, and not inhale too many fumes from alcohol ink.


Laugh and cry and cry and laugh

I was less like the birdy on the wire More like the drunk in the midnight choir When I went out looking to be free

All the way to the Aegean island From the bigger one that is my home It was good to play apart from the many night alone

I paced and paced the winter’s kitchen Circling my little hearth A bigger bollocks than I would say, ‘I suffer for my art.’

Thank you darling for the comfort And thank you for the dance You gave me what I needed With our little week’s romance

(Fionnbharr Rodgers)


The road carries on

The nights are drawing darker And getting awfully close I’m left here with the loving Of those who mattered more than most

Though ashes may be ashes And dust may be dead and gone Love is a longing And the road will carry on

It carries like the cross Up the hill to Calvary And it keeps you like the blanket On your shivering little knee

Christ, it’s going to hurt ye That’s the price you’ll have to pay You’ve known love’s tender longing And that’s the price that you’ll pay

(Fionnbharr Rodgers)


Is my cat a nationalist?

Is my cat an Irish cat? I think she might well be But you can’t just ask that You have to spot the signs there to see

She was born somewhere near Newry So does that make her a Nyuick? That I think like this Could be why we’re in this rut

Is an Armagh mew Different from one in Down? To answer that question I might have to survey every puss in town

Was my cat baptised? Or was she christened? She can’t have told me, I would have listened.

We listen for those details Just as cats watch one another’s tails With that in mind, it’s not a wonder We’re losing the race to fucking snails.


If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines: SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: g.greig3@gmail.com and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!


March’s MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS:

Can’t believe we are in lockdown how exactly did it come to this!!. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.


We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_present_voices_for_peace https://issuu.com/amosgreig/docs/anu_poetry_anthology_-april


Biographical Note: Neil Flynn Born in county Kerry, Neil Flynn is a writer for radio, stage and screen alongside writing poetry. His poems have been published in The Galway Review, Honest Ulsterman, Glasgow Review of Books, Qutub Minar Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Cyphers and will appear in forthcoming editions of Stand Magazine and The Threepenny Review. He is on the verge of completing his first collection. His play play Gravity (A Love Story) will receive its World Premier in 2020 directed by Conall Morrison.


In her eyes

I am a setting sun memory of a shadow flung of a dream of a street bus-stop checkout of a night day evening meeting across queue line tram line ley line so much jousting standing waiting keeping mouth zipped tongue unloosed pain enclosed ire restrained blood chapparalled in scaffolded veins so much all you think of is death’s breath pure fire of love upon your skin like grass in summer wonder does she think ‘I could love him without feeling him’ Stranger I see you everywhere there are places things towns clouds mountains angels walking light of your scent eyes endless possibilities endlessly unending I hear you when you pass me see you in boulevards of night dancing between the wrinkles of the blind across my eyelids like fire stand still I will hold you next time I will tell you my name I am not lonely I am searching rugged hills for gold ersatz will do so are you we have found each other more times than there are stars than we dare admit & let each other go each time like hung-dry myths like breaking vines no you have a piece of my heart


see me when I’m not there I see you watching me at the self-service queue fill my bag I look for you in the glass of the parting doors before the street reclaims me I am become blackness I see you keep walking want to turn back keep walking is what you do keep walking when you should turn back turn back I am love in reverse we are windblown starlings hopelessly hopeful of seeing each other between the sun and the moon oh the things the things us strangers do I see you now you are not there touching you casting memory’s net a sea of flames baiting you with words you cannot read but hear my voice it’s in your head somewhere we are eyeing wanting longing somewhere we are holding listening belonging somewhere stranger (darling) we are

there.


SOUL

You falter on the phone bemused by the rack of numbers.

Ask me to come home, lips will not purse to form: ‘Oh by the way…’

The question sliding from my tongue, a deadbolt. ‘Just a headache.’ You say.

In June a year will have passed since the sun lit the redbreasts in the hedgerows for your eyes you felt the wind swither on your face.

Day wakes the living: tearhaze of morning radio in webbed espadrilles you glide like a swan.

Wallpaper music, you say echoing Lennon, is its own kind of radio-therapy. Memory strikes now likerocks on the heads of the beachcombers trawling your vanishing shore:

Remember Tiananmen Square, you say one day, the man who wouldn’t budge for the tank? Where ever did he go? You won’t let it go:


What was in his bag?

Do we have a soul?


The Sound Of Silence

Larry, the song and dance man when he isn’t being a postman And Luan his wife when she’s being herself belt out The hanging of Wolfe Tone

And spoken-word: Emmet’s speech from the dock: ‘…Meet the fate that awaits me without a murmur’.

Followed by a rousing multiharmony encore of Edison Lighthouse’s Love grows Where My Rosemary goes.

In the crowd, lovers as one, once solemn nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Applause flows like water.

The first of many riverings that quiet across-the-border evening. It would be frowned upon to say when.

Lulls are filled with talk of footballers; the resplendence of this year’s heather; the barnstorming chicken curry in the local Chinese;

Of who and what is being smuggled; of who done who in what place when, (or yesterday); of who is who exactly beyond the song-inspired bonhomie.


calls to the mind the time in the British Museum, standing in front of the Rosetta Stone and my ears burned at the deafening roar

despite the stony silence.

Profile for Amos Greig

A New Ulster 89  

The March issue of A New Ulster featuring the work of Kate Ennals, Gavin Bourke, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Helen Fallon, Mark Young, Michael Lee ,...

A New Ulster 89  

The March issue of A New Ulster featuring the work of Kate Ennals, Gavin Bourke, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Helen Fallon, Mark Young, Michael Lee ,...

Profile for amosgreig
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