Fiona’s short stories and poetry have been published in The Blue Nib, Skylight47, Into The Void, Boyne Berries, Other Terrain, A New Ulster and many more. In 2014 and 2015 her short fiction was shortlisted for the Australian Morrison Mentoring Prize. She grew up in Northern Ireland but has spent most of her adult life in England and Australia. She currently lives in New Zealand.
Now I have the puddle
Wax of a thousand
Blessed candles burnt
In a kitchen shrine
Your last upright
Embrace cushioning me
Comforts to conjure
No more sinewy
Morphine cries or
Of constant sorrow
Of the thing
Crystalline like the
Scent of jasmine
Tea buds unfurling
In a cup.
Absorbent baby blues scan flock
wallpaper, cot bars, honeycombed
crochet with metronomic flickers
of exploration. An imprinted
search for signs and symbols;
patterns and systems; fractals
and constellations. Neurons
Extend, ceaselessly connect,
burn out, regenerate in a close
approximation of normal
but newborn beware,
your gene-primed mind is built
on a fault line-
synapses lie in wait for hurt
powerful enough to activate massive
misfirings. When the time
comes. The damage will seem
Absolute. A bloody rampage
down rabbit holes to the screech of a
needle skipping on black notes. A perpetual
trammel of obsessions. The like
of which causes surprising, pitiful crying
out to God. But this you should hold
and remember: We are not the authors of our
Despite what a short circuit to the neuronal
loop running from the orbital frontal
cortex to the cingulate gyrus,
striatum, globus pallidus, thalamus and back
to the frontal cortex would have you believe.
Your brain- even when broken- is a miniature
universe. A wonder.
Stowe Gardens 2011
We have departed the British Worthies
And crossed the River Styx
To ascend the Temple Of Ancient
Virtue steps. Small hand nested
In big hand. The crescent exedra and
Its reflection opposite us, doorway-framed.
She tests the acoustics of the dome
With a set of molecular scales before
Notes unadulterated as gold ingots glide
From her mouth up into the vault,
Fanning out, ribboning downwards
To anoint the crown of her head.
Reverberation tightens in my veins,
Pulses, momentarily, in my opened throat.
And when she stops. In the sparkled silence.
I’m sure I hear a multitude of suspended fossils
In the masonry, creak and burst into life.