2020 Open Call , Poems - DS Maolalai




By DS Maolalai

under a cold sun
and atop a skys bright edge,
the city gleams, built
of people and reclaimed
soil. here
I stretch
and scratch my scrawny legs,
smell sweet wind
blown in from the south
where (500 meters)
the shore once started
long ago on Front St
and on, through a forest
of condo apartments,
modern laissez-faire architecture and dangling constructed gardens,
to where it starts now;
hanging heavy in heavy water
scarred with piers
and boats bobbing on what tide there is
and further out, to where the islands,
man-made links in a chain against the weather,
seethe with man-made woodland.


we small and scurrying
of as much consequence
as tics on a lions back,
do we really think we can warp our world this way
to our own
ugly ends of ugly buildings
and mid-level bankers
towered in pillared office blocks?


minnows will nibble at the scraps of our memory.
frogs will lay their spawn
on the skyscrapers' 13th floor.


Water broken under ducks

the dog
is uncomfortable,
sometimes - sometimes
when she's not
in her carrier.
sometimes I capitulate,
and carry it
to the hall, and her
in it; it stops her barking
and her bothering
the neighbours. a sensible
decision, and later on
it's still there
and she inside it,
looking at the hall
and happy. we go to bed


and later again
it's morning and my wife
on her way to the bathroom
trips over the dog
in the bag with sleep
in her eyes. and we argue then
about where the place is
for the dog's bag.
turns out I'm wrong; it's not
in the hallway.


we don't speak
all morning afterward,
until around 11
when I bring her coffee
to the office. our life together, water broken
under ducks. envy us, reader,
our minor



DS Maolalai from Ireland has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019). |


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