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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Placed; Gorged

By: Elaine Desmond


Swallows dolphin-spark over headland runways, cut through wave-sewn air like ribbon gymnasts. Curlews disturbed thread a trailing call in hem stitches sewing blue slivers through listening bones. Herons self contained as lighthouses their languid sentry duty deceptive and intent. Companioned swans whoop-wing over disembowelled wrecks historic and snug, skewered by an ocean butcher in a half grasp of mud.

A finger nail clip of anchor beckons itself out of the sea, bleached rope draped by somnolent seaweed, tiny sways over seashifts from rhino dark to breath-held blue.

Summer arrivals pronounce this beauty a revelation, their discovery, at the island pier congratulate someone on moving here and ask rate me, plate me this place, while standing by the islander with their backs to his face.


A wind wandered alone, happy in itself. One day it tripped over a twig. The wind looked closer — two mantis locked together, complete. The wind smiled, delighted by their join.

The insects parted, completed. Then, one ate the other. The wind cried, blew a world into being with both life and death, placed the twig upon it and wandered on again almost happy in itself, and wondered how long it would take the new world to eat itself.


Elaine lives in West Cork where she eavesdrops on curlews and herons. She is ever hopeful of travelling widely on a juicy horse racing accumulator win.


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