(for Sean McSweeney)
We gathered in the stove-warmed kitchen
after chasing down laneways,
picking frockens and blackberries,
that left us purple tongued,
our skin stained with indigo
like some wild colonial tribe.
You gave us blank sheets of paper, whiter than
fresh cow’s milk and tried to teach us to draw.
We’ll start with birds, you said,
A few lines for belly, beak and back.
Mine took on the form of some grotesque,
a distorted form that could never fly.
But when you sketched the hawk in swift
brushstrokes, delineated against an infinite sky
I saw it hovering, gimlet eyed, as it soared
over the hedgerows traced in the fields far below.
I see you now, hawk-still, keen-eyed, gliding over
your Sligo bogs. Swooping down on the
deep blues, greens and blacks hidden in the reeds
to spear them, ink pricked, onto the cloud-white
of your canvas, brushed with a feathered hand.
Your fingers delivering each stroke with a raptors skill.
Author: Sean Smith
The GistSean Smith is a 56 year old poet, civil servant, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. He has been published in journals such as Firewords, The Poetry Bus, Boyne Berries and Skylight 47 along with a number of anthologies. Along with his poetry ambitions, someday he hopes to hit the perfect cover drive.