Patrick O'Reilly

REGINA MUNDI 

Rose

gauze and Columbia

blue glaze folded

over cracked plaster

 

gamine’s foot. Green,

severe shape. Piercing, stony

pressure on the serpent’s neck,

 

eyes bulging, red-gold globe

and Mary’s foot fixt at the nape,

a buzzard’s, pre-flight.

WAXWINGS

           

 

                                        On this branch a siren trilling.

 

And that, a game-hen, squeaking in oil.

 

                                                                            There a bell-shaped, bell-coloured   noise,

 

         and everywhere a lick of red tongues,

 

 

                    a fire framing the hive.

 

                                                                    They light like

                                                           

                                                            demiquaver notes on staves                                                              

           of too-fast music,

 

                                                           bustle each other like

 

atoms on market day.

 

                                                                                                  So when a crack

                                                                                                                        of spring

 

                                     thunder catches

 

 

one                                             falling from             branch                         to  branch mid

 

                       

note: they shriek,             shivaree, swoop

 

            down note

 

                               ,

 

                                    their million   narrow blades

 

whetting                      their black                               boughs                        before

 

                        tatting the air to millionths.

IDLE 

 

Driftwood, chiffarobe, last year’s French book,

three months’ copies of Newfoundland Herald,

two shadow boys portaging a shadow chesterfield – hurled,

all of them, into the fire.                                    

                                         The tribal

ritual needs you splash through the flames

gripped in the warmth of some spirited Black Horse,

in and out, to and fro, back and forth

’til the fire grows toothless.

Thumbing the melted lip of your rubber.

Revving, rerevving the Articats.

This is the boredom primeval: the idle

hate of a place that you’d burn a small square of it.

The way we burn brown grass black for green, heap up pyramids

to pyrrhic victory, scorched earth policy.

 

The night turns to nothing. There is so much space

the empties are full of it. Even the fires shrink

at the thought. Like pissholes in the snow. Polish

her off and turn home.

 
 
 

About the Writer

         Patrick O'Reilly is a Montreal-based poet and critic. He has written for untethered, The Walrus, and Numéro Cinq. In 2017, he was included in In/Words Press's 30 under 30 anthology.

 

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