Sunday 19 June 2022

Three Poems by Gordon Ferris



Walking poem 


How can I learn 

                           the names of these 

                                                             trees and flowers 

I see each day 

                         as I walk in               

                                             my secret place 

the green, brown bark 

                                          with leaves like velvet  

                                                                                      what is your name                                                 

                             the purple 


                                                             and red flower 

                                                                                        that attracts the bee 

what is your name 



 I remember 


 I remember my first day in school  

wondering why my mother  

Would not  give me hot milk  

on my cornflakes  

or let me have a milky coffee  

instead of milky tea 

or why she forced me  

to stay with a neighbour  

while she worked until three 


I remember as a child  

I looked my granny in the eye 

and said  you must cut 

the crusts of my toast  

and smother it  

with jam 

She left me 

with the blacksmith  

in his forge until three 


 now we're  

all grown up  

and it is horrible   

being an adult 

the carousel 

just keeps turning  

and we all walk about with doubts 

and the dread possibility  

of having  them  confirmed. 



 Guilty admissions 


at eighteen I moved out  

from under me  

mother's apron strings  

I could hardly make  

a cup of tea for myself 

there was no Internet  

to Google how to boil water  

never mind how to peel spuds  

my then-girlfriend had to  

domesticate me  

had to teach me that  

things we daily used  

had to be paid for  


my first effort at making a stew  

had the unfortunate meal  

wobble on the plate like a jelly 

thought I was a genius when 

I managed to load the washing machine 

when I emptied the clothes  

they were still  


bone dry  


at home in my mother’s house  

the clean ironed clothes  

just appear from nowhere 

the meals  also appeared  

on the table as if by magic  

it never occurred to me  

to ask  where these things came from 

or if they had to be paid for


Gordon Ferris was born and raised in Finglas, a North West suburb of Dublin. In the early eighties, he moved to Donegal where he has lived ever since. He started writing in 2014 and has had many short stories and poems in publications including Hidden Channel, A New Ulster, The Galway Review, Impspired Magazine, and Lothlorien Poetry Journal. He has also won prizes in the summer 2020 HITA Creative Writing Competition for his poem ‘Mother’, and won the winter competition for his poem ‘The Silence’. Gordon was awarded a Poetry Town Bursary by Poetry Ireland. 

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