Saturday 23 April 2022

Five Poems by Margaret Kiernan


I am conflicted

The stream calls your name
while squirrels play with
baby scots-pine cones
as bubbling water flows over
upturned stones
covered in green, like envy
I am jangled by loss

Glints of light and shade while
a kingfisher dips its wings
ravens and crows hatch a plot
to disagree over tainted morsels
of road-kill
rumbled, overturned sodden truth
ground out
Moist frogs and ants crawl, chirping
gnats abound beyond the grey ledge
that outcrop of dis-belief lingers
wandering, misery wriggles
in the annex room
pinned by tangled thoughts
the spirit no longer resists
it is merely still.

Art Day Tutor

Covered in splashes of purple and orange,
she wears a black vest
her skin is a deep shade of Permanent Brown,
her shoes are white,
with a wedge heel.
Her precision with the palette knife
is quite deft,
she hacks at the canvas
scrapes it with great noise and gusto
as if to attack its very weave
I swallow, chew gum, and wait
wonder where this is going?
I chew,
a man scratches his beard
mounting tension, noises, grafting colour onto colour.
She gives the appearance of a tropical bird
attempting to fly away,
and is forever trapped.
Beads of perspiration trickle down her back
creating a damp stain
all along her spine.
I watch the other students for their reaction
when I look back, at the woman in colour
she lies crumpled, crying, on the floor.

Plaza Epicurean Interlude

After the cat stretches and moves away,
she opens her brown arms upwards
reaches for the golden orb that
heats the Plaza square,
it bakes the lizards as they move to
reach the spout.
She unpins her long black hair,
perhaps dreams of
Leek and Salmon Tartines
with Pinotage.

He appears out of nowhere,
all casual, mocking mouth
dragging his stride toward
the heat.
The clock rings out
four quarters to the hour.
waiting left her
Her eyes wept tears.
Stepping forward she kissed his palm,
beneath their feet, dust arose
as sprinkles of water
hit the ground.

They fed each other, with burnished hands
they ate the peaches.

Drunkenness- After Baudelaire

Animated evening led to this murderous
ferment, agitation lying in
the foetal pose, staring at
patterns on the wallpaper.

Strive to arrive at nonchalance
or lassitude, to hear noises,
last dregs.
Seek suspension from all

Drunken aftertaste on the pallet,
bitter regret, things said
“who was he with anyhow”?
Refracted light catches

Me unawares,
hate to move now that ghouls
have gone to prey on brains elsewhere,
day has come.

Night rolling in a drum,
I have survived.

Lube Puncture

On the street, it looked obscure

beige door opened

I saw another world

high domed roof spanned the shed

half ceiling in glass

sun filtered dappled light cast

shapes upon the workbench

greasy spanners, oilcans, pincers, giant pliers

my shoes stuck to the squelched floor


Mountains in snow, Alaska Or Mont Blanc,

Johnny C. was well travelled, they said,

A map of Europe covered the back-wall


He watched words

Maxol, Castrol

on the side of cans

puncture repair outfits in slim yellow boxes

spread evo-stick solution, matched the patch

squeezed, while fumes gagged


Two rusty petrol pumps nearby

stand as witness to days when cars came by

before his days driving hackney

no-where special,

a silent wife somewhere

I mostly brought my bike

when my brother was around


Ball-bearings, a spouted can

he rattled the spokes into form

spun the wheels, skidded to a stop

sought silver bits

to mend the hoop.

Margaret Kiernan has a background in Public Policy and Social Justice. She began to write poetry in 2011 in response to the ten- year anniversary of, USA, 9/11. Creative writing began in 2017. She has had tuition from the top Writers and Poets at workshop days and seminars. She holds a Degree in Arts. She writes in several genres. Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry.

Published in The Blue Nib, lit. journal. She has had poetry published in e-book, Literary Journals, and in anthology collections. University College, Dublin archive collection, 2020. Fiction and creative fiction, Essay and poetry published in The Blue Nib, Literary Magazine and Journal, A New Ulster, Lit. Journal, Belfast, U. K. She is a Member of Over the Edge Advanced Poetry Org. Galway. Ox Mountain Poets, and National Irish Writers and Poetry Center, Member.

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