Thursday, March 29, 2018

'Crime Scene' - poem

I hadn't planned to write another collection after my last, Summer Rain, for quite some time. The thing is, the lead in time for publication is often 18 months to two years and, frankly, I got bored waiting so decided to write a short sequence called 12 Imaginary Postcards, a vague idea for a suite of short, imagistic poems I've had for a long time.

In the end, the idea grew beyond its initial (short) intention and became a full-length semi-narrative collection called Street Light Amber: A Metaphysical Love story. The publication date is yet to be set in any firm way, but I hope it will appear early next year if my publisher sees fit etc.

For now, here's a slightly eerie poem from the book. As the 'story' unfolds there is an ever growing sense of uneasiness that creeps in, to the point of (let's call it) suburban disturbia. I think this piece best captures that aspect of the work so here it is. I hope you like it, even if subtly unsettled by it. I was when I wrote it.

The poem first appeared in journal Studies in Arts & Humanities produced by Dublin Business School, where I once taught screenwriting in the Arts & Media Department.

Crime Scene

I pull the curtain back, the day ending
to a dull turquoise above the rooftops
of the neighbours’ houses on the square,
the lined sentinels of the bins by their gates
that seem to stand in watch recording us.
The streetlights flicker on, one by one,
the hoods of the cars in the driveways
a shimmering metallic, the tail of yesterday’s
storm ghosting in the branches above them.
Sometimes I dream there’s a body
buried out there under the cedar tree
beneath the camouflage of autumn leaves
and all our fallen memories. I let the curtain
fall back, passing like a shadow across the brain.
I watch you lying on the bed, half asleep,
no shining light to disturb the eye just
the bulk of things hiding in darkness.

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