Monday 19 April 2021

Three Sublime Unpublished Poems by Gordon Ferris


 

Mother.

 

Mother ironed everything in sight 

socks, shirts, jackets, trousers  

school ties, tea cloths, floor cloths, 

they all got thrown into the pile.

Beds were stripped early in the morning 

left blowing on the wind 

ironed 

than replaced on our beds.

 

Once she washed and dried coal bags to return them to the coalman,

He smiled, said there was no need for that.

All habits picked up from her hard, unsmiling mother.

 

Mother soaked up the pain for her children 

to make them feel good about themselves

She looked at the fly on the ceiling 

wondered if it was her father taking the shape of the insect 

To lovingly watch over her from a higher place 

She often thought her past had come back to haunt her 

in all odd manner of imagined ways.

 

Sometimes I imagine I sense her presence.

and smell her distinct perfume

those times I’m so sure She's there

Sometimes I see her in the corner of my eye

and I get the scent of her cigarette smoke 

And don’t be surprised when I turn

And see 

that I’m on my own.

 

I sometimes don't eat my greens

And cut the crusts of my toast 

In her honour.

 

 

Listen

 

Beneath my erupting display

lays something quiet and aching 

 

behind these tired eyes 

hides an invisible dam 

 

holding back the tears-ready to erupt

almost reaching to the top

 

just won’t reach- overflow 

 

when asked to do 

what causes me distress 

 

I hide my  displeasure 

behind a deceptive smile 

 

I am feeling pain.

 

No, friend my grimace is internal

Never shaped by faces about

 

I don't ignore you

 

It’s a wall I build

To hide from the world.




Things slipping away.

 

I try to capture

how silence rolls time

along in slow seconds 

 

I try to capture 

the distance in your eyes 

the dimple beneath your thin lips

 

I try to capture

the way your hair

twists and turns

how it glistens 

even in shade

how your smile fades

then reignites

when you realise-it has.

 

I try to capture

how  long  fingers  tap

that nervous song

 

and I try to capture

that racing heart

that tear  falling




All three poems are unpublished but the poem Mother was entered into a creative writing competitionHolding It Together Apart, and it won. 

Gordon Ferris is a Dublin writer who has lived in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal for the past thirty-eight years.   He has had several poems and short stories published in many publications including, A New Ulster, Impspire Magazine, The Galway Review and Hidden Channel.


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