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NJ McGourty Jun 2013
Mounted in Ulster Mausoleum
you greet me with your rotted smile,
with oaken bones splinted into pose
with cloven feet riveted to the floor.

To the side your cratered eyes
that tunnel down to your cage
that watches of how we feed,
that recognises skin, fur and hair.

that will keep to see,
waves crash on mountain peaks
and we, holding hands in barren fields
and no one finding fossils in the mud.
NJ McGourty May 2013
October brings a flurry of trigger-happy handymen
to carpet over the potholes, puddles and last year’s cloth
with that emerald bract that’s rusted in seasons past and
now swarms in copper opulence.

I often wondered why sky’s most subtle inclinations
did not bleach the meadows into hues of tarnished brass
but will glaciate them rather than pull at the soil’s gums.

How I would thread a coat from those discarded teeth
and wear them out before they abandoned me.
NJ McGourty May 2013
Colonel Hathi with a hurl
that weighs in his illicit hands
like an AR18 play-park swing
and all at his command
are concrete soldiers he had left
to test the new recruits
with netted helmets drilled
into Private Sparky’s boots.

To detrimble and exhume
the cairns from the pyres
a jaded island from respite
and scripture from the flyers
but as he jumps the trenches
of his own conceited fame
he’ll turn a sharp three-sixty
and face the wall again.
NJ McGourty May 2013
A Sunday and she will not eat
cabbage brew
or the plethora of stale mush
stuffed within
her trusty rusty biscuit tin
even tea stained
and netted dishcloths wane
like fossil flies
on toffee streamers that were baptized
with gravey drips
of the Irish stew from her whitewashed crypt
and papal’s sprogg
plays housies with the dog
we keep shtum .

When threadbare ears are in the room
cull the conversation cull
Go Moe less scale, leather hull
until our hallowed family makes
familiar curiosity and lemon cakes
she’s broke down so give her a push
Maybe ninety two.
It’s Monday and she will not eat.
‘Gabh mo leithscéal, le do thoil’ - ‘excuse me, please’
NJ McGourty May 2013
Mauve block of US is
frozen butter on soft bread
it won’t spread smoothly.

Nelson’s wee brother
cries gravel tears, Why can’t I
be more like Nelson?

The countless that has
lain in you are poppies now
beyond the stained glass
NJ McGourty May 2013
They look upon your brindle bake
and break the silence with their spite
it whips across the troubled air
and cracks upon your crescent mouth.
It lingers there for just a time
but now lost to the crowd,
how fortunate are we to see
the best of Ballyshannon Brown
NJ McGourty May 2013
It sat upon Virginia’s shore
stalked by the sea,
it’s lichen pale with salt
bark that broke the sand,
a haggard frame stark against
the last horizon land.

The butchered stumps contaminate
a hacked and broken field,
their sapwood leaking silence,
the birds atop them mute,
crowned with their annual rings
of righteous guilt and root.

But there it waits branded by
the blight of unknown fear,
a desolation beacon
when the other trees were cleared,

by then it was decided
what pilgrim eyes would see
scratched into the tree.
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