New Poetry by Adèle Ogiér Jones

Swallows

Swallows did not come this year

and cuckoos are late,

nests stolen by others holding

no claim

as they themselves have no right,

without responsibility or rhyme

for building

planning for offspring

those new autumn

sunshine promises.

Cuckoos on the eastern route

never arrived in the south,

Spanish coast too parched and hot

to comfort their wayside

resting place,

only the western route

through the Balkans open

for the journey down,

though closed

for others crossing upwards by land

from countries blasted

from the earth.

Those fleeing from the south

and east of the middle seashores

reaching land, by sea

finally progress onwards,

waiting perhaps

to hear the cuckoos

returning

to the land of their nests,

waiting in vain

for the storks

long passed

overhead

too soon in the season,

losing their young

in the sudden cold which descends

out of time near Easter, Pasch or Eid.

News of more drones

Startled crones gaze up

drones fire down

shattering silence, life

then silence again

above bodies 

scattered.

Old eyes gaze upwards,

aged well before their time

while far away

girls in leggings and lipstick

know nothing

of drones

Reducing

bodies to bone

bleached white in the sand

all to dust 

left from their assaults

unknown great lands.

Chrome and plate glass

protect none

faceless, without care 

swift, alone

in deserts far away

sands left blowing 

silent.

Boots on the path

An old black boot with cobwebs where laces should be

Spun by spiders hidden in warm glistening woods

Like Alsace lace

Delicate, silvery, fragile to the touch

Hidden by the moss-covered bench

Built into the roots of an oak

Hanging overhead in silence

The only witness to this relic.

Boot tough, still black with rust

Where eyeholes once were

Frozen in nights of recent cold weeks

Like the church dome

Green, bronze gone to earth again

Transformed by the rain and ice

Waiting for walkers whispering

Sole voices in this ancient place.

Then back on a lone walk

After a year, the boot is gone

Searching through leaves, from scraping

And brushing aside forest droppings

It has gone, left the warmth of the hill

Leaving a good start for the story

Lurking beneath and behind secrets

Known only to the forest.

Chess

You asked today why I wrote poetry,

To drown out the other voices in my head

I replied.

They answered back

Do not forget us or ignore what we say

Compelling an answer though I knew not why.

There is a time for consciousness

And regularity and concern

But the peace we all dream of

Is allowed at centre as well

Permitted and desired in the cool of the morning

When birds alone sing as the village sleeps.

Peace over the hills where the traffic stands still

Not yet wound up like the springs

Of the minds running and deciding

Actions which will destroy peace

To bring peace

Or so they say.

Decisions and commitments not thought through

Short term efficiency on show for the media

Schoolboys moving knights and horses

On the table of life

Say the voices in my head

Urging these words.

About the contributor

Adèle Ogiér Jones is the author of the Kosovo poems of Beyond the Blackbird Field (Ginninderra Press, 2016) and is shortlisted and awarded in competitions: Letter to Rosa Luxemburg (My Brother Jack Awards, 2018) and Football (UN Peace Poems, 2011). She has two published novels, the first Desert Diya (Ginninderra Press, 2010)

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