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An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.

Issue Two




Gold, they say, in and under these jags
of quartzite, gold and a man
from outside seeking to mine it. Turned
back one path, he finds another.

The sphagnum moss that was harvested
as a stancher of wounds,
a painkiller and an antiseptic, and sent
to the Front during the Great War,

of no account, the cormorant standing
with its wings open to the sun
lost forever, the tourist boat next the pier
allowed to rot, the stories told

in the accent and idiom of a people
wiped out – the world destined, it seems,
to mesh with megalopolis, all
cultures rendered the steam of one pot.

The Ash Pit

What if a hot coal caused the dead
weeds, the nettles and husks
of Queen Anne's Lace, to spark up

and a flame to take hold
of the scabby pine tree that bowed
and scraped its existence from

the ash pit?  This was, the men said –
humouring a child too full
of questions – what happened. 

But what if the flame twisted
into a red squirrel climbing the trunk,
twitching as he fitted himself

between the branches?  Shush now,
the men said, their hands
busy with implements and machines,

splitting the timber in the long
loud sawmill.  But she who emptied
the bucket of ashes, the bedpans

and eggshells, the stale crusts
from the bread bin and the tired skins
of eaten things, emptied them

every morning, said let nature
sprout a new nettle, turn over a fresh
dock leaf, open the wings of

a peacock butterfly, start a sapling tree
out of a cone dropped
by the pine, said nature could allow

for its own design, fireball or squirrel,
fox, kangaroo, change even
the "salt-and-pepper" Greenland geese

that grazed all winter in the Callows
into flaming flamingos if it
had a mind to.  Imagine, just imagine.

Patrick Deeley is from Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland. Groundswell: New and Selected Poems is the latest of his six collections with Dedalus Press. His memoir, The Hurley Maker's Son, published by Transworld Ireland, was short-listed for the 2016 Bord Gais Energy Non-Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in Dublin.

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