Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 5,789 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Hare's Foot: 6 English Poems - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

1. We’ll Meet Where there’s no more sorrow

We’ll meet where there’s no more sorrow
My child, where all dreams start
In the fertile rigs of tomorrow
Where the lark sings out its heart

We’ll meet where there’s no more sorrow
Where the hound lies down with the hart
And there’s never a need to borrow
For there’s gold on the cloud’s rampart

We’ll meet where there’s no more sorrow
Atop of a hay wain cart
Where dark deeds cannot follow
Where wind makes the ripe sheaves part

We’ll meet where there’s no more sorrow
Where the hound lies down with the hart
And there’s never a need to borrow
For there’s gold on the cloud’s rampart

2.The Loch

The loch’s a crucible
Running down to the alchemy of water
Melted frost-blood,
Mercury shot with green.

Its one eye stares at the luminous sky
A sky of sheer mountains,
Wreathed by silken mists
Threadbare and aged
A faded tapestry of wolf hunts

An erne like a diviner’s rod
Quivers over the fossil-fathoms
Its visionary eyes alight on a silver salmon
It aches to eat the knowledge of the fish’s flesh
In the Holy act of survival

3.Tourist Board of Outer Mingossian: new destination added to catalogue: Earth, a small planet overrun by humanoids

•Press the triangle to hear this description in Earth Speak
•Note the wall fetish, designed to stop entire populations from leaving
•Half of the peoples can be distinguished by the pattern of their rib cages
•The other half appear to have no rig cages, but several chins and bellies
•This is a dying planet, heavily polluted. Make your visit brief
•Most of them use pacifiers, tablet shaped. They rub and talk to them.
•There are many 4-legged species. Some people eat them, others pet them
•Humans recycle their wee before they drink it
•Be alert in populated areas, some humanoids are violent, blow things up
•For total safety opt for a virtual visit

4.Aftertaste of Xmas

The turkey lies, a bulimic
Whore in its loosened basque

With a faint crickle
A dry leaf drops from a rose

5.Prayer wheel

In the hot Chinese noon
The prayer wheel spun from my palm

A sparrow chirruped
Near to the sandaled foot of a monk

Temple roofs rose red and gold,
Like Imperial dragons
Breathing clouds in the sky

5.Puppet Master

Heels drum idly on the skin of the elephant’s side
Horn hard from strolling through bazaars
In the crippling heat,

The elephant’s hide is dusty,
Grey, wrinkled as a walnut
His cargo of Saga tourists
Are grey and wrinkled too

This human load’s alarmed by the froth of poverty
Leaping in waves around the elephant’s haunches
A frenzy of marigold and poppy coloured saris
Hung upon stick-thin arms like rainbows drying on twigs

Under the watchful gaze of the puppet master
The girls are vending Kathputli, bright string puppets,
Legless marionettes with heads of mango wood.
The legs are lightweight pleated coloured skirts,
Hands stuffed with cloth and cotton, yanked by an ancient tune

They dance to the tune of need, of desperation
Always with strings attached


24/7 they lived their illness out
Or their illness outlived them

The nurses dressed the patients,
Plumped cushions behind them
Led them out to the freezing veranda air
Wrapped in rugs their charges
Were helped into deckchairs
To stare at the wintry sun

They coughed and shuddered
Searched for blood on their hankies

Fate was indiscriminate
No favourites, rich and poor

Nothing of a deadly illness is fair
A long slow death is generous only in time
For anguish, rage, corrosive contemplation

Three invalid meals per day
Rest, exercise, and the hot-house of
Scandals and quarrels in too- close quarters
With others whose presence may grate

A useless un-life, bickering, fretting, decline
Nothing to do but watch the snow
Tumble from clouds above the Scottish hills

Swaddled in blankets and furs
(With the occasional hearse to break the ice)
For some, came cure,
For others consumption came galloping in
On the pale horse of the apocalypse

24/7 they lived their illness out
Or their illness outlived them

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 6, 2014

Poem Edited: Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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