Daily Archives: April 5, 2018

Lonely Bones, by Lorraine Carey

I am not a silent poet

London’s Eye can see into your soul,
the metal mammoth a fixture
of your lifetime. Gathering at fountains
on Saturday nights, clutching at camaraderie
with forced fervour, weekend drunk and lonely.
The brown envelopes leftovers hinge on a Soho visit,
strip club or a jostle in your local, as Cockneys harp
about market stall trends, or Arsenal, or Everton,
Misplacing accents as you swallow your own,
toning it down for others, when all you crave
is a sense of belonging.

You miss the incessant screech
of herring gulls, squabbling at the dock,
the chug of trawlers, loaded to the scuppers.
Netted bowels heaving with their silvery catch.
Scales like glints off a blade,
shimmering in rays.
Betty from two doors down,
proffers the only net you’ll see now,

cushioning the sparse wisps of her blue rinse.
Smells smash into you, street scents raid your senses
Your memory bank at…

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Nails, by Lorraine Carey

I am not a silent poet

The earth took them back,
not in three foot coffins
but wrapped in browning rags
like slabs of meat. Tiny frames
thrown into clay, marked by
nails in a wall, a haunting
of winters and soft, summer rain.

Milk filled breasts tingled,
leaked as tears fell, dried hard
and stiff, their crusted aprons soured
the air, the smell a pungent
reminder of their sins.
Their raw fingers, their cracked skin
bled from days and nights in
laundry cells, as nails
rusted red on the wall.
No granite headstones, nor simple
wooden crosses for the babies pulled
out, dumped with the placentas
they preceded.
Thrown in like broken dolls by those
who strolled floors in starched
white habits,
stiffly buttoned up, their hearts
hard as the marble gifted
to the bishops.

Their necks adorned with rosary beads,
glassy nuggets of worship kissed
by thin lips puckered in reverence.
They carried Jesus…

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They Brought Grapes, by Lorraine Carey

I am not a silent poet

The old unit lies empty,
the huge windows
no longer reflect
dead eyes of patients
staring out at daffodils,
sheltered by the grey wall,
mesmerised by the greyness
of it all. Watching for strangers
dressed as mothers, fathers
with bunches of grapes
and resentment.
Clock watchers, their fakery
and smiles, perfect Wednesday theatre.
relieved to return to their silence
and Stanley ranges, whiskey
bingo and gossip.
The smell of their freedom,
a stench really, crisp and sharp as autumn air.

The confined shuffling in their furry slippers
from bedpost to window
window to bedpost –
the grilles imposing on the peeling frames
the paint flakes huddled in corners
like little snow piles

Nightfall meant snores and sniffles,
the weeping moans
of despair and sadness,
as much a part of darkness
as any dream.
The silence now deafening

Poet and artist Lorraine Carey grew up in Greencastle, Co. Donegal. Her…

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