Poetry from the Winner of British Haiku Award 2017

5

Deer Medicine


In night white with birch and moon
your heart hears hooves 


crossing its wide plateau 
a slow steady pulse keeping time
 
with its own.
To think they argued 
 
reconstruction only way to go –
silastic implant 


and tissue expander –
few surgeries later 


who would know?
Unable to handle your logic


they couldn’t see it 
when you said
 
someone changed
so many ways 


might not want to look the same?
Instead you chose 


hand-mixed inks 
from a recipe book


over a hundred years old.   
Cadmium & witch hazel


ochre & shell 
ambering a deep round eye.


And as yours is held 
wild pearls spun 


from the areola of the moon
winter a red deer’s breath.



The Wood Worker 


In the hollow hours 
her fingers censer coffee smoke
before low umber sounds 


of chisel on gouge 
draw out a hairline 
a jaw a chin


a half moon beneath each eye
a mouth hewn to steady smile
and the pitchers 


brimming stars and water
pendant from both ears.
When the rest rise


the whole piece polished 
to an even shine. 
Marvelling at the strength 


it takes to turn oak 
we find sixteen hands
of Arabian horse 


unbroken in its grainy ghost
and seeing the grace 
etched in every line and groove


we tell her how well 
she has done
how well she is doing.


Telling till leaves bud 
on cheeks of dark seasoned wood.



Dora’s Second Dream
after Fragments of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
                                                        ~ Sigmund Freud


Sitting behind a phalanx of Egyptians gods
his watch chain looped 


on the waistcoat of a three piece suit
he asks how a girl of fourteen 


kissed by a prepossessing still young man
could fail to be excited.


Ida spelt Dora brought to 19 Berggasse – 
schtum he should have kept 


shelved in the name of a science 
unable to see omens and spells 


concertinaed on finest Chinese paper,
the cosmologies and maps 


on pages of wood and bone 
shell and silk,


from his chair in the corner unable to see 
her brush brought to malachite 


orpiment and ultramarine swept across pages 
of milk white skin.

Clare McCotter won The British Haiku Award 2017, The British Tanka Award 2013 and The HIS Dóchas Ireland Haiku Award 2010 

Find Black Horse Running by Clare McCotter on Amazon

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