New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

5 poems by featured poet, Lorraine Carey

Lorraine Carey is an Irish poet and artist, born in Coventry, England and later grew up in Greencastle, Co. Donegal. Her poetry has been widely published in the following : Mad Swirl, Ariel Chart, Poethead, The Honest Ulsterman, The Cabinet of Heed, Atrium, Sixteen, Vine Leaves, The Galway Review, Olentangy Review, Poetry Breakfast, Dodging the Rain, A New Ulster, Quail Bell, Haikuniverse, Live Encounters, ROPES, North West Words, Stanzas and Picaroon. She has work forthcoming in Laldy, Launchpad and The Runt Zine.
A runner up in the 2017 Trocaire / Poetry Ireland Competition, she has contributed poetry to several anthologies. Her artwork has featured in Issue 15 of Three Drops From A Cauldron, Dodging The Rain(August 2017) and Riggwelter Press. Her debut collection From Doll House Windows – Revival Press is available from www.limerickwriterscentre.com. She now lives in Fenit, Co Kerry.




It Could Have Been You


In the queue she stood,
alternating hips
to bear the post-menopausal
spread, the watch snug
snaked around the wrist.

Her weary arms were splashed
with age spots and irregular moles,
which sprouted dark hairs.
Limbs weighed down
by curved shoulders
that bore the brunt of sadness,
making do

and getting through
all the disappointments.
She too wore Scholls, this stranger,
who unaware of my stares
shuffled in the queue.
I remembered
mother’s hard, cracked heels,
the skin rough as a pumice stone,
despair always tagged along,
a sullen child, two,
three steps behind

and her handbag slung
over an arm, the finger fidgets
picking skin from
the digits that penned
our birthday cards,
letters hemmed with local gossip,
a backdrop to the other stuff,

more than enough
for any mother to endure.
I’ll do my best,
as you did yours.




In Stitches


The television was always on,
white, fluffed up background noise,
hummed and shuffled with your progress.
Barely needing to check the rows,
pausing only to tug the wool,
the rolling ball at your slippered feet.

The melodious clicking of needles,
a tunnelled memory now
as I hear the clacking, the rhythmic flow,
the lengthening rows of blackberry
stitches, their tension perfect,
it matched our own.

The tattered pattern
now an almost jumper,
in a warm tobacco hue.
Folded at midnight, it matched
the mulchy leaves that spun outside
in stormy gusts.

You wrapped it up
in the creased plastic
of a worn carrier bag,
shoved onto a dark cluttered
sideboard shelf,
away for the night, from Coco
and her fur-cloaked claws.




Before the Storm


The absent car, the curt hello,
red flags to my senses.

Fresh eggshells
positioned themselves
delicately underfoot,
waited for shoes
and the tiptoes
of small feet.

She sat doing a crossword
in a prime spot near the window.
Glasses perched
on the perfect nose,
that seemed
much too small
for her face.

Searched for the gleam
from headlight glare
and answers
to cryptic clues.
Anticipated the tell-tale stall,
the several revs
that told us to disappear

down the hall,
behind doors
where our music
took us away.
The volume drowned
them out for a while
as the air turned cobalt blue,
when he strutted in the door
with all the grace of a blind peacock

on this, just another Monday.



Pottery Class


Into the mouth of this terracotta mass
I scraped and pushed my fingers.
Slabs of twisted clay felt glacial
in this central heated room,
mounds lay in wait
on the wooden table.
Pronged tools sliced and sheared,
altered unusual shapes.

Our warm palms cupped the clay
rendered it malleable.
I rolled and folded
pummelled and moulded,
gathered up severed remnants,
they sat, stood out like unwanted sweets.

The background hum
of the pottery wheel,
turned our envious heads,
as an urn took form
from hands weeping,
with the murky water of perfection.




Solstice Steps


Stumbling in at dusk,
I lifted the latch – black
as the silence it gated.
The quarter moon nestled,
in the inky surround
a featherless chick against
a fuzzy nebula stream.
I stepped quietly like the night
to your grave and stopped
where I imagined your feet lay.
Tears travelled a well-worn path,
fell like beads of glassy silica
down my shadowed cheeks.

Skeletal leaves rustled,
their scrunched forms
and slender petioles
nearing the end of days.
The weeping willow’s
curled remains blew
onto the moss lined path,
its spongy edges bordered
my weary steps, as I turned
and whispered goodbye.




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