Poetry

The homing pigeon

by John Boland

I am an embarrassment to my profession. I seek a kind of liberty. My instincts overpower my training. Released each time from bondage, I listen dutifully, obediently, my eyes riveted on my destination. But once out of cage, of hand, of sight, I fly free. Look, they have instructed me, make for Putney (or Donegal, […]

Love’s energy spent, the room assumes a new texture. Come to the window, look, it is raining. Five starlings crystallise the lawn, wet plumage on fire. Rising, they wheel, blurs of insolence, towards the trees. A rainbow frames the sky, streaked with gold and all the colours you could name, my love. Stars emerge. How […]

There will be a lovely quiet on our farm, so hushed we will hear the grass growing as we saunter down through the cornfield, make love by the stream where the salmon leap. Oh, we’ll be happy, the two of us, shouldering home the silence in the evening sun. The mad and lazy days will […]

God smiled again

by John Boland

At last we slept, and in the morning rose to clear the debris. I licked my wounds. It’s just we love not wisely but too well, you pleaded, and recalled that afterwards we sought redemption, framed by the fire inside a kindly room. We purged our guilt, you said. I almost screamed. I never wanted […]

Heytesbury Lane

by John Boland

Waking at night I hear a pig squeal. My room is low-ceilinged with half-moon windows. Outside the front door there is a courtyard. On summer mornings I can trap the sun. Sometimes at night, though, I wake to hear the pitiable scream of a trapped pig. It is difficult to believe I am not having […]

Heytesbury Lane

by John Boland

Waking at night I hear a pig squeal. My room is low-ceilinged with half-moon windows. Outside the front door there is a courtyard. On summer mornings I can trap the sun. Sometimes at night, though, I wake to hear the pitiable scream of a trapped pig. It is difficult to believe I am not having […]

Margaret in Helvick

by John Boland

(in memory of Margaret Kennedy) I was on the road, just below the brow of the headland, when I heard you call. Another dinner, another May evening. Now, though, I slow each moment to the crawl of images we shrug off at the time: Joe in the nearby meadow making hay, the sun skewed westward […]