Riding a Giraffe
She stands bolt upright upon the giraffe’s back.
She is rigid with trepidation but is also convinced
that standing as straight as this will aid her balance.
She hugs tight to the column of the giraffe’s neck.
The giraffe’s narrow mane tickles her cheek;
her eyelashes comb gently against it.
She whispers into the long mane and her words
travel up to the giraffe’s head.
Tread gently, thou misshapen horse,
she says over and over. It is a prayer for journey.
But the giraffe quickens its pace; she feels its shoulders
dipping like pedals under her feet.
Its body is a mosaic of shattering,
the tiled floor of a courtyard in motion.
The giraffe takes her to the edge of the plains.
The moon rises before them both,
just a stepping-stone to carry them further yet.
Copyright John W. Sexton. All Rights Reserved.
John W. Sexton was born in 1958 and lives on the south west coast of Ireland. He is the author of seven full poetry collections, the most recent of which is Visions at Templeglantine (Revival Press 2020). A chapbook of his surrealist poetry, Inverted Night, was published by SurVision Books in February 2019. His next collection, The World Under the World, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. He also created and wrote the children’s science fiction comedy-drama, The Ivory Tower, for RTÉ Radio 1, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes. His novels based on this series, The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed are both published by The O’Brien Press and have been translated into Italian and Serbian. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem “The Green Owl” won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. Also in 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.
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