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WIND HORSES

JUDY RUSSELL ———————————————

Belfast Lapwing


WIND HORSES



JUDY RUSSELL



Belfast LAPWING


First Published by Lapwing Publications c/o 1, Ballysillan Drive Belfast BT14 8HQ lapwing.poetry@ntlworld.com http://www.freewebs.com/lapwingpoetry/ Copyright Š Judy Russell 2013 All rights reserved The author has asserted her/his right under Section 77 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Since before 1632 The Greig sept of the MacGregor Clan Has been printing and binding books

All Lapwing Publications are Hand-printed and Hand-bound in Belfast Set in Aldine 721 BT at the Winepress

ISBN 978-1-909252-28-8 ii


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My thanks to Dennis Greig of Lapwing, my children, Shed Poets, Bealtaine Poets, and all who have encouraged me in putting words on paper. Some poems previously published in: Landing Places, Immigrant Poets in Ireland Edited by Eva Bourke and Borb谩la Farag贸 Hunter Gatherers, Guilty Secret Cork Literary Review vol XIII Sky Dive Peer Poetry Gilded Cage

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CONTENTS

BRIGID ’S DAY DIARY

...................... TWO SISTERS ........................... EVOCATION ............................ RAPID TRANSIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE LAW LIBRARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MOONLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MINUTIAE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SARK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HUNTER GATHERERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SKY DIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WIND HORSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MAPPA MUNDI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SLIEVE MISKISH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MOTHER LOVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STEPPING BACK ......................... CHEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EARTHQUAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RADICAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HEAR THIS, MY CHILDREN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHRIST IS RISEN IN DEED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JIMMY CHOOS ON THE N11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NGARRINDJERI ELDER RECLAIMS ANCESTRAL BONES INERT

.................................

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7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


THESE ICE-HARD NIGHTS

................... POTTER WASP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TRANSMISSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TOSSING AND TURNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RINGING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LANDINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NO TIME TO LOSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GONE FERAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TIPPING POINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ICELANDIC SAGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TROUT LAKE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MOONLIGHT: THE BATHERS ................ HIATUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE HARE’S CORNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GUILTY SECRET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GRÁINNE MHAOL: TERRA MARIQ POTENS . . . . . . . CHOCOLATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BLOWING FROM SIBERIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AS BLACK CLOUDS GATHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE PLEASURE OF A WINDOW SEAT . . . . . . . . . . . GILDED CAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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31 32 33 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52


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Judy Russell

BRIGID’S DAY DIARY

Arctic cold sweeps east across Europe dropping birds from the sky bullets whine in Syria streets ablaze with rage and revolution here, ice last night sealed in the water butt, nothing to die for.

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Wind Horses

TWO SISTERS

They live on a mountain, feed calves from a bucket, milk of the Kerry cow, handfuls of flaked maize for a goose free ranged twenty seven summers. The kettle hangs on a slow turf fire, one spoons tealeaves from a caddy, the other curls ham on patterned plates with sliced tomatoes and white bread. When the paraffin lamp is lit, water fetched from the yard they pull in near the hearth, blue eyes shining, tell stories of years in London, two usherettes in a cinema at Marble Arch.

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Judy Russell

EVOCATION

A full soft moon rises peach plump through lavender haze above Carraholly, gilding the goddess Cliodhna’s palette of dragon’s blood, black where a lone bird wades in heaving kelp, slack whispering waves. Beyond the sightless windows of her empty house she stands in witching light remembering her boys playing like otters in the creek, running to her for juice, sandwiches, hugs.

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Wind Horses

RAPID TRANSIT

This train is for Howth, Binn Éaidair, passing swimmers in the cool shallows of Killiney Bay, flotillas of blue sails and life-padded children at Salthill, the stinking swallow hole at Booterstown where herons hold their noses and nest, past green scum on Sandymount Strand at low tide, into the city pot where trapped travellers sweat on platforms the southbound trains having been, regretfully, cancelled. A walk to the Four Courts the law courts, where justice may, or may not, be dispensed, is punctuated by a coffee in Insomnia, a sandwich to soak up the nerves, and a quiet corner to make nervous notes.

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Judy Russell

THE LAW LIBRARY

We wait on benches to be claimed like luggage in a crowded anti-chamber glum with patience and anxiety where taut young women in black silks and stilettos confidently ride the wave of frock coats, grizzled wigs, starched collars, white flared bibs holding filed lives and court.

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Wind Horses

MOONLIGHT

The blue tv light flickers in the window as I stand outside, breathing in roses. My father travelled to work by train, worked long hours, a half-day Saturday, but on moonlit nights we’d walk out of the town, up over the common, a windmill’s bare arms praising the sailing stars, and climb the hill to the woods where beech trees stood ankle-deep in crisp leaves. Night creatures paused as we passed through the disembodied dusk pale moon lighting our way. Tonight’s crescent dangles Jupiter, blazing in a blood-streaked sky.

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Judy Russell

MINUTIAE

All alone on a sea bed a single cell creature builds, selects microscopic grains seals them together constructs a shell. Inside my head synapses bell music one to another, like the chatter of seabirds across a rock face undulating echoes and we think we’re intact inside our skins while each particle gets on with its business for the most part ignoring our illusions.

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Wind Horses

SARK

In the last days before war clobbered complacency, we spent long hours foraging on Grand GrÊve’s shore among nuggets of beauty, amethyst and rose quartz silky from oceans caresses. We lick them, taste the salt ingesting translucence. Above wind-swirl drifting sands a disconsolate egret trails yellow feet to the utmost end of the strand.

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Judy Russell

HUNTER GATHERERS

Drawn to the living water and the elemental forms of rock and wrack we brave only the threshold of the enigmatic deep, wade in shallow waves scoop up sea lettuce, frightening hermit crabs who tug their borrowed homes deeper into the sand. At the base of the cliff we bundle driftwood, pocket smoothed jasper, rose quartz, amethyst, load shell bowls and feathers into a salvaged bucket. Crags, strident with gulls, sprout tasty samphire high above the crinkled sea where drifting clumps of nets, trawler trash, and plastic, drowning snares and deadly debris slop on the tainted tide.

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Wind Horses

SKY DIVE

Gorse popping and the sweet perfume of elder, on quivering wings a hawk slips sideways, stalls then drops freefall over dry boned crickets, blue whispering grass, tangled wild white rose and sea-wet red rock Nobody liked him much he didn’t quite fit in tho’ they tried, of course, to be nice to him since his wife had left he had gone to hell but no-one knew him well no-one was bereft He dived from the cliff like a bird, the lady tourist said, she was changing her camera lens and the focus was blurred

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Judy Russell

WIND HORSES

Pilgrims to the sacred mountain – Precious One of Glacial Snow, Seat of the Sky Goddess – journey many miles on horse or foot, to seek release from ignorance, illusion, bathe in icy waters Lake of Consciousness, Enlightenment. A mighty tree is raised, an axis mundi, fluttering with coloured flags. Horns blare, shells resound, the sky littered with paper prayers called Wind Horses. Half a world away, she writes her prayers in frantic scrawl and takes the elevator to the nineteenth floor where piece by shredded piece her woes take flight, flutter away above the city lights.

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Wind Horses

MAPPA MUNDI

bogey men, ogres, goblins, bad witches, poltergeists, zombies, demons and ghouls, all out to get you at night in the forest on the edge of awareness here be dragons arsonists, muggers, perverts, pimps, slave traders, lechers, assassins and goons watching for prey at the edge of the city on dimly lit streets here be dragons terrorist bombers, insurgents, militias, saboteurs, anarchists, pirates, al-Qa’ida, plotting our downfall in cities and skyways in faraway caves here be dragons sabre-toothed tigers, coyotes and spiders, vampires and scorpions, caymans and snakes haunting our dreams with a riot of meaning DNA sequences here be dragons foreigners, strangers, the homeless, the crazies, beggars, the screamers and little green men lurk in dark doorways in treacherous shadows inside our heads here be dragons

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Judy Russell

SLIEVE MISKISH

Two men stride off the mountain, not young but sturdy one lifts a fist into the air, shouts, ‘Fine day, thank God!’ A swarthy pony plods behind rope slack across his mane, wise in the ways of steep hill fields drawing the plough, or on an April day bearing a man, sleán on his back, up to the prickly bog. Now as I let fly a long line of washing in the crisp Atlantic blow a trailer-towing van speeds by with three fine mares eyes and nostrils a-gape, all that horse sense bound for the knackers yard.

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Wind Horses

MOTHER LOVE

Some could be difficult, he says, you’d need men with sticks beating her back when the time comes. The stone wall must be high or she’d leap it, then again she’ll double back, the brute, or take a run at you. Sure, she remembers, doesn’t it happen every year when the calves go to mart.

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Judy Russell

STEPPING BACK

from a country a world an economy in crisis on a misty morning I pocket acorns raining down pick up conkers still creamy in their wombs promising to find a vacant site, damp soil for them. After that they’re on their own.

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Wind Horses

CHEF

There’s been a murder – he glares rolling his r’s like a Glasgow ganger, muscles flexing under spotless jacket. A filleting knife steeps in the sink, severed cod’s head, glaze-eyed and gaping, drips on the draining board. A murder – he scowls tossing a lobster into a seething pot. Claws scratch steel, screams redden… then expire. A clobbered slab of seasoned flesh sears on the grill, chicken livers sizzle, – and when I find who used soya whip in the crème brulée, there’ll be another.

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Judy Russell

OVERVIEW

We sink through cloud like candyfloss thinning to disclose familiar jigsaws, threadbare fields patched rape yellow, earth mauve, stitched with hedgerows, roads snake restless to the horizon. Hit the ground running, hustle along moving walk-ways, suitcases at heel like bullied pets. No lingering, we might turn rowdy and demand time to orientate. Spat out of doors to find a bus, there’s no going back. The train cleaves Nailsea and Backwell, swings along the Bard’s murky river, nesting swans poised on a hill of sticks, past chestnut trees with creamy candles, banks of comfrey flowering at Freshford. At Parson Street a billboard blares, Big It Up for Jesus, and I know the end is nigh.

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Wind Horses

EARTHQUAKE

Solid cement folds spaces, apartment blocks, offices, a school presses people like flowers, like flies between pages of a book.

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Judy Russell

RADICAL

Dig where you stand, he said, and there was I thinking how I could go to India, cradle the child with flies in his eyes. Dig where you stand, I repeat, and prise up the tarmac at the edge of the car-park poke a fat seed down. Pretty soon a tree unfurls, roots buckling through asphalt, birds curl scaled feet around new twigs, pitching arpeggios.

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Wind Horses

HEAR THIS, MY CHILDREN

from an old woman who remembers fish from a fishmonger wrapped in yesterdays news, filmy-eyed cods heads for Bella and Bagpuss. The grocer scooped rice, tea, sugar from barrels to be weighed on the counter, poured into blue paper bags with the sound of surf dragging pebbles down a beach. Glass milk bottles clattered onto the doorstep in time for porridge cream rich gold tops plundered by birds. Now food comes cased in plastic vacuum packed, sits in plastic trays. Plastic migrates uncontrolled blows in the wind, snags on bushes, trees, straggles roadsides clogs rivers and streams slides torn away down to the sea by slipstreams and eddies sucking and drifting to the great oceans’ vortex, the worlds plastic convenes where five million tons of polymer chowder twice bigger than Texas cheats, sea birds and fish, tourniquets turtles, returns to us dioxin rich delicacies, mercury soup. 26


Judy Russell

CHRIST IS RISEN IN DEED

He overturns the board room tables, unlocks shackles, padded cells, releases animals from factory farms, foxes bred for fur from cages stacked on cages, heals eyes of rabbits used to test shampoos. A friendly sparrow, He perches on a prison windowsill, restores sanity to the tortured and the torturer. He wraps soft blankets around shivering children, picks up babies left in cots to fester, mothers them, ties millstones of truth around the abusers neck. He stands between whales and harpoon guns, is washed in blood at ritual dolphin slaughter, nourishes the earth, cleanses seas makes rivers rush with busy, living water.

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Wind Horses

JIMMY CHOOS ON THE N11

a handsome pair they lie feet apart on the hard shoulder ejected perhaps from a passing car in a pet or a pique a row at full throttle angry accusations over accounts or someone kicked up their heels playing away. Maybe cries in the empty hours passed unheard.

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Judy Russell

NGARRINDJERI ELDER RECLAIMS ANCESTRAL BONES

He dances outside the museum, fans city air with smouldering herbs dream time swirling on his chest. Face wreathed in painted bands, grizzled hair, white beard, threaded with feathers, seashells, while black eyes blaze humour, patience, rage. One more battle won, one more stolen grandparent rescued for burial yet inside this place of learning lie two more, while thousands boxed and numbered wait in college and museum corridors. Were my grandfather’s head set on a glass shelf, bones stretched out for curious eyes, my grief would riot, break walls, fists beat on polished floors but here this holy spirit whirls munificent among the dust, discarded tickets, passers by.

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Wind Horses

INERT

In the cradle of the city, among granite columns and fine panelled doors, a man lay down on a night so cold the cardboard under his thin body froze, cold so biting fingers and feet turned black. Only his heart, loyal pulse that had measured a life rich and complex stayed warm, until dawn.

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Judy Russell

THESE ICE-HARD NIGHTS

under two duvets my nose is cold, feet hide for comfort under knees, warmth spreads into dreams only that last half hour before the alarm. Opening my curtains to the dawn fluffed finches, tits, a robin, flurry anxiously from leafless bush to bird table, swing on the peanut feeder. Today I am not fit to drive, or mingle with my fellow humans, talk, or lift the phone to you. I need to walk along the river bank peer down dormant badger setts, scavenge water sculpted driftwood, touch tight reassuring buds on stiff branches, prepare to set you free. .

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Wind Horses

POTTER WASP

She scoops clay from the quarry, carries a load to a half-made urn gleaming in the gorse mixes water with care, curves, shapes and strokes a fluted neck, feniculus umbilicalis to her egg’s womb then stuffs it with caterpillars mickey-finned into paralysis, seals them in for her emergent grub. Snugly dormant in a silk cocoon, the young wasp hatches, cracks clay, ready to mould new pots.

.

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Judy Russell

TRANSMISSION

1

“Everyone’s done it, everyone.” Nuala O’Faolain It’s true, we all gaze at the same moon giddy on the seawall dazzled by flickering waves or wrapped in a blanket against some desert cold watching the nightly waning towards the dark. A two-page spread repeats words said on air charged with loneliness and fear, grasping too for comfort in that all pass this way with umbrage, props of faith, relief of pain or calm transcendence, quite alone.

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Wind Horses

2

with hindsight ‌I meant to say that we are never alone that the universe is present to our every breath that every drop of water has touched the skin of bears and squid, that we are nothing less than particles of God whatever that exhausted word evokes scattered to play out our lives and feed them back into the Akashic records. ‌I meant to say that stepping out my door I come into the mind of trees billowing freely in the April wind, gossip with greenfinch busy on the peanut feeder. The watchful deer, loud gangs of magpies, tired oceans, hungry earth, rains bouncing in the river know how to let go.

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Judy Russell

TOSSING AND TURNING

sailing the night storm in my ship of the woods timbers creak and groan as the hunter Orion strides Maulin’s ridge, fierce dog star at his heels. At dusk the rutting stag screamed like a banshee in the gathering gloom but now, routed by the gale, he sinks groaning into the pliant heather, seduced for a while by the weary comfort of defeat.

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Wind Horses

RINGING

‘Hello?’ step barefoot through the door into open air where the river has stopped bronze surface hardened ripples set ‘I’m afraid there’s… no wind stirs the leaves birds hush ferns have frozen light is suspended on fragile twigs of the autumn birch …been an accident… Hello?’

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Judy Russell

LANDINGS

Tall windows let the sun shine in one floor up on Mount Street, a warren of bed-sits. Our landlady down iron steps in the basement seems always to be peeling spuds a metal bucket planted between her feet. I hang a busy lizzie in my window drape a rug over the worn armchair, line books along the sideboard, pin up pictures, made it home. Floors lurch at rakish angles, stairs unreliable and everything so dirty so wonderful a place of my own. Fast forward through decades, it’s not four walls define this home but the corner of a mountain field, trees, river music, smells, where dirt gets under my nails as I crumble compost, press bulbs into damp earth.

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Wind Horses

NO TIME TO LOSE

After weeks of cold and steady rain suddenly it’s summer warm wind blustering and we rush to the coast throw off clothes to bob like flotsam in the heaving sea spray stinging cheeks seaweed caught between toes in the lift and slide curl and furrowed roll drifting on sea skin scoured of thoughts as crashing surf drags us back, casts us up on capricious shingle, salted and battered.

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Judy Russell

GONE FERAL

Wood smoke slides down the roof slinks across the field to where December stands dripping from naked trees. Knee deep in rusty ferns they forage, a family of wild boar dark sow, five tawny juveniles quite unprotected from the hunters sights fugitives, neither tame nor native surviving on memories, nervously re-enact a landscape centuries old.

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Wind Horses

TIPPING POINT

There comes a point, she counsels, when there’s nothing left to say that will make the lupins bluer or the clouds more grey and with everything balanced on the end of a pin, some days even drawing breath seems dangerous, exhaling seeds to drift some other way. The best that I can advocate, she winks, is tend to the oasis and leave the door ajar.

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Judy Russell

ICELANDIC SAGA

There’s revolution in the kitchen, people are gathering, ideas in ferment as the earth creates herself in bubbling mud pools, creaking ice, defying expectations. We are not people riding in landcruisers, we are not skyscrapers, we are clear water, rock and sun. Listen to the stories, how the dragon eats the world, yet this is not the end.

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Wind Horses

TROUT LAKE For Karen, Canada

Autumn leaves rain red and gold on to the great lake’s rippling skin, beached kayaks wait, packed for the journey. Still we linger, cast hungry glances back the way we came. A sleek beaver noses through reeds, sees two-leggÊds mute and dismal on the shore, turns back. Loneliness breathes through pines, soughs among alders. Where are our children that we can wrap them in blankets see their faces eager for the voyage as we migrate south before the snows. Stories have found us, a child hanged, young ones diseased and dying, a little girl fled home a hundred miles tongue pierced by a nail for daring to speak her own.

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Judy Russell

MOONLIGHT: THE BATHERS a painting by Pierre-Etienne-ThĂŠodore Rousseau

There’d been no rain for weeks. All day heat hazed the land, red dust stirred listlessly, caked thirsty poplars, alders, ferns. At dusk the shrunken river pool stood barely moving under the rising moon lapped by shy night creatures, fluttering bats, singing insects, frogs, and we followed the cattle path to the ford, waded naked into the cool backwater sluicing crusted dust from arms, face, aching muscles, all the days endurance, to take our place among rippling shadows resting in the dark waters with all creation.

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Wind Horses

HIATUS

My mind moves slowly dragged by dreams, inhaling lilac, morning sun. A wasp rasps its tongue stripping pine, nesting time. That bossy bullfinch scolds my sloth, no seeds nor porridge oats pile his picnic table, all the while the rippling river, scented breeze, seduce attention and indulge delay. Let me ignore the screaming from the oubliette, be safely wrapped in peace some moments yet.

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Judy Russell

THE HARE’S CORNER

Leave me a patch of field with corn marigolds, red clover whether headland or centre around the brambled rath, I live above ground, no burrow for cover strong legs, keen ears my only protection a reputation for witchery won’t save me from the dog men the blood red trail leading into the kitchen. Must you track us down, leave no ragged weeds unpoisoned boxed in by sharp stubble, tarmac, engine’s roar.

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Wind Horses

GUILTY SECRET

You told me once that you felt most alive in wartime aboard a cargo ship with two spies, running the gauntlet of torpedoes in the North Atlantic salt spray in your hair. When peace returned with motherhood and apple pie your world contracted to petty parish squabbles, darning socks and endless ironing, a book propped up to liberate your mind, feed dreams of future years when children would be reared. Oh there’s the danger not under skies raining bombs but in the quiet disappointment of the laundry room folding ambition sides to middle.

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Judy Russell

GRĂ INNE MHAOL: TERRA MARIQ POTENS Clare Island, Mayo

Under swagged curtains carved from limestone, and ancient roof running with red hounds and deer, soldiers bareback on steeds among a throng of hares, fox, goats and boar, bowmen and slain, a white swan, lies the warrior queen, offerings of sea shells, pebbles, potentilla gracing her final bed. We find the man with the key, proffer gannet feathers gathered among rocks and bones on the cliffs peeled rim. D’ ye spot the face above the sedile, he asks, or the lepers squint or teach na mBan and we crick our necks at the red-clawed dragon, playful, precocious, prancing through centuries of famines, battles, shipwrecks, invasions, to these days, when tourists wander the green road.

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Wind Horses

CHOCOLATE

Slamming down the phone she goes hunting for chocolate toppling herbs and spices on the shelf by the stove ransacking cupboards of tins and lunch boxes compulsion driving a wedge between rage and despair.

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Judy Russell

BLOWING FROM SIBERIA

As daylight mutes into dusk a blue-tit, exquisite in a bush whose last leaves cling thinly gold against frozen snow, bead eyes through bandit mask, a dapper scrap of feathers fills his beak with seeds, oat flakes, buttered bread, bulwark against the hardship of the night ahead. Inside, a butterfly batters faded wings against the window pane, too late now to fly south. An hour she battles to escape until I swing the window wide and watch her flutter out into the lacy snow, snatched in a blur by a shadowy crow.

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Wind Horses

AS BLACK CLOUDS GATHER

rain spits tinny drops on the empty watering can, butterflies dart frantic for cover. Birds have gone quiet, thunder prowls along the ridge, as black clouds gather a rocking girl stops up her ears, the post man pedals past mumbling half forgotten prayers under his breath as black clouds gather.

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Judy Russell

THE PLEASURE OF A WINDOW SEAT

The plane bumps towards the runway as I scan cosmetics offers in the magazine, Urban Decay… Hope in a Jar… Engines roar, the skyline flames red, dark gold then duck-egg blue above a tousled bank of leaden cloud, and we soar over rivers of light, urban hubs laid out in molten webs glowering between dark forests, valleys where solitary lights mirror stars. Soon I’ll be on the air-coach heading home under a thumbnail moon curled in blackness to news of a brand new heartbeat.

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Wind Horses

GILDED CAGE

In ancient times this fertile land was forested from shore to shore, teeming with life in every part, deer, otter, grey wolves and wild boar, in shifting ferns of dappled greens. Resounding to the songs of lark and thrush, translucent fishfilled streams tumbled from heights to valley floor cleansing, quenching a million thirsts before spilling silt-rich waters into the surging ocean’s roar. Now it has become a gilded cage for some furnished by silk vendors and thriving garden centres listed ashlar farms antique dining tables yellow straw in stables Rangerovers in barns Trim the hedges trim the lawns spray the drive and shell the prawns kill the badger kill the fox close the eyes and turn the locks

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Judy Russell

please keep to the yellow arrows resist the urge to wander we keep the stiles and fences neat in case you should meander there’s lots of designated walks – the maps are not expensive – the rest is private land, the old estates are still extensive But where do the wild deer hide? in fringes of trees And where do poor people live? on hard city streets And what of the gypsy folk, and the New Age travellers? hounded from verge to ditch ostracised and slandered people are kind people are nice give to the church offer advice do come for drinkies please come for tea there’s a tour round the house for a very small fee

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Wind Horses

‘Beware oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road’ it’s a thirty foot container with a very heavy load ‘No footpath through the village’ so you have to go by car and drive the kids to football though it isn’t very far we really need a by-pass here but no-one wants it anywhere field, fence, road, fence, field car, lorry, van, lorry, car road, traffic, town, traffic, road py – lon, pi – lon, pi over the hori zon motorwaymotorwaymotorway sprawling suburbs city centre more sprawling suburbs industials estates, foul toxic wastes tree

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Judy Russell

In the narrow threadbare zone between cornfields and motorway a pregnant girl squats down to pee countdown to labour day her partner rolls a cigarette tired of moving they need to find some common ground, a place to give birth in ‘You can’t park that here we don’t like your sort if you’re not gone tomorrow we’ll have you in court.’ they’ve heard it before they’ll hear it again so it’s pack up and move on ahead of the law ....“and if you’re out you’re out and if you’re in you’re in and if you’re out you will always lose and if you’re in, you win!”

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WIND HORSES

JUDY RUSSELL ———————————————

Belfast Lapwing


Wind Horses