Thursday, November 1, 2007

In honor of November

Ciaran O'Driscoll, a contemporary Irish poet whose work I have posted in An Inflorescence has kindly sent us a new and Novemberish poem. It was published in Southword but otherwise, we're the first to see it, I think. Thanks Ciaran! Now if we're lucky, I won't mistype it. Actually, my poor typing is the reason Ciaran O'Driscoll contacted me to begin with and we ended up with this poem, so maybe it was serendipitous. It is accompanied by a painting by Sean McSweeney a great contemporary painter from Sligo. So, in honor of November...


I'm waiting for a sentence
here in this winter light,
a set of words to put things right
and break the silence of November.
I'm frozen waiting says
the woman in the bus-stop shelter.

By this weird luminosity
you can easily read the plight
in trees, the inroads of emptiness,
how the leaves that cling
no longer really belong.
And there's a November light

makes people paper cut-outs,
while a second coming shines
among the ragged gaps
in dispersing coalescing clouds.
Is it only when empires fall
that the sentence forms, mind to mouth?

Ceramic armies of verbs and nouns
interred inside my head
and in the autistic child's
for whom some soldiers sprang to line
when cows broke through his garden fence
breaking the grip of silence.

Not much to hang on to, this -
only a few leaves left,
winter in root and crown.
When the sentence comes at last,
it comes as a surprise,
bringing empires down.

(First published in Southword, Issue 12)

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