Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Night Poetry By Donal Mahoney

Perhaps it’s the election this year that has Donal Mahoney thinking dour thoughts about the future and the different groups of people in dire need. He has never wanted for anything in his life from childhood through dotage and spent many years working among those in great need, simply because he did not fit in the business world as an employee and had no skills to start a business of his own. Never rich and never poor, he has always had enough. But enough isn’t enough for enough people these days. People want more than enough while the poor and disadvantaged continued to live in another world. And sadly he doesn’t see this election, no matter who wins, making a material difference in their lives. He hopes he is wrong, very wrong. 

Billionaire and Beggar

A billionaire and beggar
die on the same day,
miles apart. They
never knew each other
but that’s no matter.

The billionaire is buried
with pomp reflecting
wealth and stature.

The beggar’s lowered 
in a potter’s field.
Two workers shovel. 
One says a prayer. 

Years later 
a major quake tosses 
thousands of caskets. 

Popped lids confirm
a truth the billionaire
and beggar share.

Dust and bones 
in both their caskets.
Equality lies here.

Donal Mahoney

It Can Happen in a Second

Solid middle class he is
always has been
always will be 

until tomorrow
on the highway 
in the rain this bus 

topples over
on his Dodge Durango.
He will never walk 

or work again.
In six months or a year
his savings will be gone.

He will be for life
a ward of the state
and people will

forever feed 
and bathe him for
the minimum wage

a sum he always said
folks like these 
were worth.

Donal Mahoney

A Portrait of Society

Red, yellow, brown
work well together in 
a portrait of society.
Add black, no problem.

But if we remove the red,
yellow and brown 
and then add white, 
white and black clash.

No simple answer but
white and black should talk.
Talking never killed anyone.
Might be worth a try.

Donal Mahoney

War Feasts Forever

A refugee from another country tells me  
people thrive on proving their beliefs 
more than understanding one another.

They will let a stereotype fall on others
like a cheap dress as long as it fits 
the image of someone they’ve created.
People are more dangerous when their rules 
are more important than their values, he says. 
Belief is like water and must be transparent. 

If people accept those who are different,
everyone sits down to a banquet of peace.
Otherwise war feasts forever. 

Donal Mahoney

Body Bag

I'm on my way to Larry’s Place, 
a food pantry in the city. 
I park a block away because 

parking in front of Larry’s
isn’t wise even if one drives 
a clunker. My old Buick 

almost qualifies as that.
It’s getting up in years
but still able to get around. 

I’m wobbling in the middle of
two shopping bags of food 
my wife found in our pantry.

Someone at Larry’s Place can 
take it home and have a meal. 
If they have a home. Not all do. 

Certainly not the fellow sleeping 
on the bench outside Larry’s 
in a black body bag, the zipper 

slightly ajar so he can breathe.
Lots of people go in and out
but no one bothers him. 

I go in, drop off my bags and 
exchange pleasantries with Larry. 
He says business is too good. 

He says the guy in the body bag
is a new arrival from out of town,
suggests I have a chat with him.

His story is remarkable, Larry says.
On the way out I see the fellow 
in the body bag is sitting up.

I give him five bucks 
and he asks if I want to hear 
the story about his body bag. 

I say I’d like to but I’m rushed,
that I’ll be back tomorrow with
my notebook and camera and

I’ll pay him. After all, everyone 
has to make a living. Or find 
their food at Larry’s Place.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Poetry of Natalie Crick

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry. Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Natalie Crick

This Is A Metaphor

My room.
Four walls
Of slumber.
Sucking my fist,
I am here
As a threat to myself.

My friends
And I
Sit here sometimes
And we play
When I clap my hands

People behind the glass, they laugh
(You bitch, you bitch).
Sometimes I stop and
I think, “Wait a minute,
This is my future.”
O God. Now I must go back.

Seeing Things

My face is changing
And no one else can see it.
I am in an asylum for weeks.
And no one else can see it.

My face changes
Like a rainbow or a storm cloud.

I am a snake now
In the mirror.
We photograph what I can see
And talk about it.

My eyes are shrinking.
My hair is shrinking,
Growing longer today.
I don't know where it goes.

I think it shrinks away
Into my skull
Choking all of my thoughts
Until I have nothing left.

Your Eyes

Where did you get
Those eyes?

Starved, staring
In your dark face.

Glittering at me,
Devouring me.

Slipping into another time
Filled with sad and sour dreams.

Say my name.
Say my name.

Eyes that can haunt,
Swallowing us all.

Grateful that we are out of sight.
Are you pretending again?

Your bald, white eyes.

Poor old dear,
Blind to what she is.

Something is missing.
All night long run in the marshlands.

Welcome to the Asylum.
You always know the truth.

You cannot hide forever.
Show yourself.


Say hello to me.
I like it.
 I like it.
Do it again

I see me in my sleep,
A horrible thing.
 Accused and furious.
Hoping she will die one day.

She stares, black with curses.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
 I heard you climbing the stairs.
Only wondered if you wanted to talk to us.

Once unbreakable.
Now a shocking white.
 Now I know for sure.
The beautiful face is not mine.

Say hello to me.
You are the one I want for myself.
 She is transparent as a cloud.
This was to be her Wedding Day.

She is at the water’s edge,
Close to breaking.

Lost for words.

After what she said.
The Bitch.
 The Bitch at the end of the long corridor,
Laughing with a full, wide mouth.

At myself! It is I!
An obscene woman.
 I imagine there are two,
Then I will be as good as new.

Head In My Mouth

From down here,
We speak very little:
Thinking through cogs and machines.
“Yes , I think thoughts through cogs and machines.”
Chalk broken and split
In my mouth.

Head in my mouth.
The night spins dull
Into black.
Jabberwocky, jabberwocky.
Spit curls into spray
And then is now.


You did this to me
So I would be left with nothing.
Ever since I became ill
You have been a stranger to us.

I am a beautiful girl
With dark eyes
And I feel really sad.
I've got plenty of friends.
Don’t leave me here.
Now I will be mad forever.
Forever and a day.

Spilt Milk

There is no use
Crying over
Spilt milk.
The secret is out!

The voices came first.
Eat your words,
Eat your words.
She had eaten it.

Now she needed to get it out.
The thought of it was the most disturbing
Of all.
The hunger game.

This time I will not.
Will not.
How clever they are,
Making her so miserable.

Why are you so quiet?
What are you hiding?
Locked in her dark room
Like something gone wrong.

That was the first time she hated herself.
It sent her reeling
Upstairs and downstairs.
Sending herself off to bed.

The faces came.
Nice to meet you.
She tried not to think about it,
Looking across the table

At the other two.
And learning it off by heart.
“Oh Mam, Oh Mam, Oh Mam”

You should go out
At times.
You keep making mistakes.
Now you will always be that way.

Sometimes when things get too much
And life’s like a loaded gun.

My Body, A Hospital

This is not as I expected.
In this mess, you shall not miss me,
I have decided.
Ready for war,
Such fireworks, they upset me.
Blood falls down.

Oh, how I envy you!
You are always there
As roots cling to Earth.
My Nurse,
With hair and wings.
I pass out and let strangers touch me.

A nest of eggs.
White ovaries crowd inside like pale globes.
I hatch one out: a dirty chick
Crouching yellow in the corner. I catch the drips of
Black blood.
Filthy Witch, I am chasing stars.

Bastard. My vagina opens like a wound.
The red sea parts and you run to me.
Wild ghost,
You have found me out!
Fireworks dive through my fingertips.
I will cut your face clean off.

Blame teases your breasts.
My shame is stuck in the air like rape,
Alone with God and
Turned out like a soiled cloth.
I am awful and deaf.
They arrange themselves on sandy beaches.

Something Changed

That day
When something changed.

The way you looked, suddenly,
A sad man, repulsed.

Turned like a black sheep.

Your smell,
I flinched at it.

My Love
You make me weak.

We didn't know what to do
What to do, what to do.

O God, I remember
Standing in the rain,

The water cold and wet,
And starting to run

It is hard waiting for you to get better
You sit lost and alone as a little boat

The last one,
Drifting out to sea.

You, a dark thing from the underworld.
Slack jaw.

That day
When something changed.

We watch you
Slowly turn around. 

The Hunger Game

Girl, returned.
Frail and worse than before.
So thin.

It shocked her to see her dressed like that.
Dressed up all gaunt and beautiful
Like a skeleton.
Her skeleton girl.

Just tell me lies.
You cannot hide
Nor disguise.
Just tell me lies.

I live inside my head
Where I don't have to think.
For months I don't know anything.
Lost in No-Man's Land.

My mouth is a beast,
Tasting it
Crumb by crumb.
And repeating her name.

I am up and down, up and down
Like a Mad March Hare
Running for the hills.
Was I dreaming?

Was this real?
I am a black sheep
Riddled with rumours.
Nightmarish. Il prove it.

My old imperfections
Light up the dark.
I am Nothing.
Nothing like her.

My Siamese Twin,
She is black with jealousy.
I hate her so much that
I am going blind.

I'm shutting the door on you and her.

Enter nightmares.
This is the Hunger Game.
Wake up and save me and
Love me back to life.

The cold sea swallows me up.
Glug glug glug.
I'll haunt you forever
When I'm gone.