Vona Groarke Poems

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The Family Photograph

In the window of the drawing-room
there is a rush of white as you pass
in which the figure of your husband is,


The wind orchestrates
its theme of loneliness
and the rain
has too much glitter in it, yes.

"Are they real?" We have pages of kitchen utensils and books
and candlesticks and nibs, but the charcoal pencil and new sketchpad
are squat as aubergines in her hands in front of this display.

The Small Hours

A joyrider rips up Lockland.
It takes barely five minutes
for a precinct helicopter
to dip and swivel over lawns

Imperial Measure

The kitchens of the Metropole and Imperial hotels yielded up to the Irish Republic
their armory of fillet, brisket, flank. Though destined for more palatable tongues,
it was pressed to service in an Irish stew and served on fine bone china

The Slaughterhouse

Some gap in the sidings, a man too few
at the turn into the pens, and they were out,
scattering like buckshot through the cars.
Until a clutch of lads in bloodied aprons


What leaves us trembling in an empty house
is not the moon, my moon-eyed lover.
Say instead there was no moon
though for nine nights we stood


Give me my hand on his neck and his back to my breast,
my heart ruffling his ribs and their flighty charge.
Give me the sea-grass bristles on his shoulder-blades
and his spine, courteous and pliable to my wrist.


My mother has gone and bought herself a piglet
because none of us comes to visit anymore.
George has good manners and is clean in his ways:
he is courtly, thoughtful, easy to amuse.

Why I Am Not A Nature Poet

has to do with Max and Nemo
scarcely out of their plastic bag three weeks ago
and into our new fishbowl
when Nemo started swelling up,

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