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Poems by the selectors for SOUTH 55

The poems for SOUTH are selected anonymously by guest selectors. We thank Finola Holiday and Fay Marshall who selected the poems for SOUTH 55.


There is no handle
on the door into the dark.
Someone on the other side
must answer your knock.
You will enter without a lamp
or a canary. Be aware
that moon-rise will not occur,
that the stars will have retreated
behind the night, that the ritual
of sunrise has fallen out of use.

You will feel the flicker
of bat-wing against your cheek
and that sound of water
is the unquiet spirit of a river
wandering in the underworld.
Tears drop on your face - the rocks
build their sad stalactites.
Stretch your arms into the dark
as a blind man might - perhaps
someone will take your hand.

© Finola Holiday


The easy bit was climbing the mountain,
though the summit played hide-and-seek, and shadow
brushed the avid edges of ravines. The plain
stretched far behind; assent painless; sheets of ice
brittle as glass, trampolined light.
We stared goggle-eyed at our beckoning peak.

It was what we found at the top that rather
threw us. Abandoned ice-picks, the odd corpse,
cans, slivered glass, all littered the long ridge.
But light was purer, shadow velvet with seduction.
We planted a flag. Naturally. Its message plain:
now for the downward slope, pique, repique, dissent.

© Fay Marshall

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