Poetry- Kate Ennals

An Invitation

Come, Father, let’s wander London’s dark skies,
sit by the river, watch dusk silt and slide,
salute and swirl a glass of ruby red wine.

Let’s toast civilisation,
Forge radical ideas, unravel politics,
range our voices across continents.
Discuss Truth and Justice.
I need your advice on
The growth of greed and corruption,
Refugees, the Taliban, Isis, Corbyn
Brexit, Trump, Corporate Capitalism.

And, I’ll tell you of my children;
Your grand-daughter’s smile,
You would be proud. She is like you,
Except more beautiful.
You will love to hear of my gentle giant of a son.
He has your stature,
Tries to stuff his heart with pebbles and stones
By way of defence but sings strong.

At the close of play, Dad,
Before you fade,
I will hug you good night,
Press my cheek to your black, cotton, polo-necked chest
Breathe in your alcohol breath,
Climb into my bed,
Go to sleep, a little drunk, feeling safe

My    hand    reaches    out

You are framed in the Georgian door and forty years
A string of water, your hair a grey, tangled mess
It used to be blonde and gorgeous.
I swallow hard, while garble streams from your lips.

 Hello! You’re brown! How are you? How’s your mum?

Before I go forward to embrace, I take a step back
It’s always been like that.
Demanding answers, you follow me into my brother’s kitchen
Where I have laid out
Olives, anchovies, artichokes, trout
Sea food salad, bread, cheddar
You scatter a glance, take it all in
Stop your chatter. Say nothing. My heart sinks.
I have the old feeling that I’ve done something wrong
I arrange the midnight red gladioli you bring

 Wine? Water? Tea? Orange?
I ask
You choose the last. I pour white wine into my glass

It’s been so long!
You say. I nod.

That was your doing. You took offense
I gave it truly. I look at you now, cautious
My hand reaches out
To keep you at arm’s length, safe distance
But you come pouring, forthwith:

Your children and work, they come first
Sighs and pride, everyday stuff. Then Mama
The sisters with whom you have fallen out, again.
But it is the angle of your eyes, the pull of your mouth
The glance askew. The way you look at me
With your nose. It tells me more
All you haven’t said. Everything I don’t know
And I’m not sure I want to, yet
My hand reaches out.

Perfectly Sweet To Slurp

My eye has a squint like a bull’s eye mint

My nose is the shape of a chocolate flake

My ear is fashioned like a pink jelly bean

I have hula hooped cheeks

A cone of a chin that drips ice cream

My neck quavers over jubbly boobs

I have nipples like gob stoppers, over chewed

My bubble-gum tum is a bazooka joe joke

My bottom hangs, scoops of soft caramel

My thighs wobble like a shaky cream jello

My knees twist like aniseed drops

My shins are sticks of teeth pocked rock

I have feet that flap like fizzy fish

My middle toe is a pink string of liquorice

When I look in a mirror and see my reflection

I see a bag of delectable confection


She walked on water
Sweeping the sea
Brushing the waves
In the setting sun
While the tide rushed in
She walked on water
Across the ocean
Out to the island
knotted by ancient walls
Barren fields and rocky stones
She walked on water
Over heft and flow

Sweeping the sea horses
Herons and curlews

About the contributor

Since doing her MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2013, Kate has focused on her poetry and writing. She has a distinctive voice which reflects some of her English origins. Her work is slightly off kilter and sometimes humorous. Her interest lies in capturing the awkwardness of the every day. Most of her stories focus on relationships. Her poetic voice is often wry. Her topics range from love, politics, and place. She has is putting together her first collection ‘It’s All About Me.’

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