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Poems by the selectors for SOUTH 58

The poems for SOUTH are selected anonymously by guest selectors. We thank Sarah Barr and Maya Pieris who selected the poems for this issue.


They flourish in what we call silence –
rain-clatter, wind-sough,
plant-rustle, path-crunch
and high-spirited hawk cry.

Grown, like us, from star-dust,
they take only rain, air, sunlight.

They are guardians of the landscape,
and give us a sense of safety.

They are characters in a tableau
who don’t walk the undulating path
but seem destined to watch over

folded fields of lime, rose, amber,
hedges, copses, the bowl of the sky.

© Sarah Barr


So really it was about project management-
or the lack of it.
And with Daedelus’ level of knowledge, experience-
I mean didn’t he do the labyrinth?
So where was his risk assessment?
Was the lad up to it?
And given they were in a bit of a rush to go,
a happy outcome seemed a tad unlikely.
Seemed to think more about the challenge
than his paternal duty.
Where was the safety net?
The family and friends?
And Icarus- his input into this hair-brained scheme?
Too keen for dad’s approval.
Should have thought it through more carefully,
the flying bit.
Maybe started by learning to swim,
learning to dive,
till he had a stroke he could be sure of,
a depth he was happy with,
given that, even if practice makes perfect,
you can’t be sure.
After all the unexpected- a sudden storm,
an eagle off course-
can disrupt the best laid plans
and result in disaster.
And anyway he’d have frozen first
before the sun melted his ambitions.

© Maya Pieris

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