ds maolalai

From Our Poetry Editor

Diane Mudd Puddle  In the month of love, ironically a tryst of lovers turned into “strangers” at the climax of the poem (end of the romantic rendezvous) entitled “The Forge” by John D. Robinson. Then the surreal enlivened images in two poems, “Liberty Atoms 11 & 15,” by Christopher Barnes with quotes within them from the late novelist Iris Murdoch (The Nice And The Good) take flight like Cupid’s wings—”Birdcage alarm clock flew / Tick-reversed / An hour pursuant to every ten minutes.” (from “Liberty Atoms 11”).  Further attributes of love and time exist in DS Maolalai’s poem, “Time takes pawns like a short game of chess” with the first line completed by two words, “everyone leaves.” His fresh and remarkable mixed metaphorical images are evident, especially “…and spiders / with legs / that bounce like bent paperclips…” This poem gives the reader a “bent” angle of the timelessness of time and lost love in a simple but loved object of a “…a cup and saucer / in your mother’s house. / kept whole for 20 years, / and cracked / and thrown away.” Lastly (but, by no means least), Louis Gallo’s “Tree” poem, where the speaker is witness to the loveless butchering of “a most magnificent oak tree” grieves the reader to heart’s core.  “But this is the way it goes with the sacred.” North of Oxford hopes you enjoy reading our United Kingdom, Irish-Canadian, & American poets in this February 2020 issue.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Diane Sahms

http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/

https://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/

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As if he is holding a sparrow by DS Maolalai

sparrow

Photograph by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

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As if he is holding a sparrow
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you would write me these long letters
after you first moved back home
when we had only been together
a month or so
and they’d arrive, pages and yellow pages
looped in tiny hand writing
that spun little circles all along the paper
containing in them these tiny lovely parcels of your mind.
and when we would visit each other
I remember your eyes, big and drunken looking up at me
like something reaching out
and taking my heart in its fingertips.
they were so blue and round and lovely,
as if you were going to start crying
later on, but your mouth then
would be smiling at me.
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and now, almost two years from when it started
I see the photographs of you
with this new guy, and your hand is on his shoulder
and his carefully around your waist
as if he is holding a sparrow
and afraid of crushing the bones.
and you look happy with him.
happier than I remember seeing you
for a long time.
.
it makes me want to knock the radio
onto the floor to see you looking like that.
but you were happy with me too, when it started.
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Author Photo
DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press