A Question of Time

Claire Potter
                                                          There’s a cup on my desk, someone’s been here 
                                                      before, in my chair, at my keyboard, it was this morning
                                                        when I tried to call you at home and got your mother
                                                           whom I was not expecting, so apologised saying 
                                                     I had the wrong number. No, she said, who do you want,
                                                       You I said, but she replied, you were not at home. I felt
                                                    a nightmarish worry – I wished to cancel my subscription to
                                                 the waterfalls and the peaks and the lapis-winged dragonflies
                                                               to a heart that would crystallise into a long set
                                                           of principles, into harsh right angles, into the small
                                                                   mouth of a pipe whose notes only played 
                                                                         but a summary of any true sound
                                                                            Long days, tiny canoes of light 
                                                          flitting across the grass once the sun goes down. 
                                                                I want to wear black all the time to funerals 
                                                               in my mind, I want to lie on a beach and fold
                                                      and bend and tear books into churches. As for the black
                                              there have been poems and alphabets written about that colour – 
                                                     Rimbaud’s corset, his first heavy note, his sun gone down.
                                                         And whilst I might separate black from another colour
                                              whilst I might stare into the garden, into the rain-streaked stones
                                                           and the damp wicker chairs seeing the grey of fallen
                                                   angels, I will wait too for the garden to end, for sunset to taper
                                                                  – the wind whistling through an empty bodice,
                                                              the blue ghosts of dragonflies, principles, sounds
                                                          and a man and a compass sleeping in the same boat
                                                                                  unkempt and uncorresponding.
Page 119, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119
Issue 119

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 119 includes new poems by 48 poets including Frank Ormsby, John Kinsella, Rachel Coventry, Aifric Mac Aodha, Gerald Dawe, Alice Miller and Claire Potter. Also included are translations by Richard Begbie and Kirsten Lodge, an essay on Bishop, Lowell, Heaney and Grennan by David McLoghlin, and reviews of Paul Muldoon, Paul Durcan, Sarah Clancy, Medbh McGuckian, Kate Tempest, George the Poet, and many more. The issue also features photography by Hugh O'Conor, Dominic Turner, Sheila McSweeney, Fergus Bourke and John Minihan.