Even if it’s a day late…a new poem

National Poetry Day was yesterday—yes, I know, I know! But here’s a new poem with an old picture to delight everyone just one day after the poetry hoopla calms down…

on the velvet pile
of midnight’s darkest fabric
stars stitch needlepoint

Words © Lizzie Ballagher

“Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh

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It’s National Poetry Day

In celebration of 2017’s National Poetry and in honour of a family birthday today, I hope readers of this blog will enjoy this poem:

Postcard to Two Grand-Daughters
(or She Stoops to Conkers)

On the day when you became a loving sister;
And on the day when you were born,
I waded ankle-deep in spring-like grass
Under a burnished tree to gather horse chestnuts:
Rich globes of silky wood still varnished
With the oil of their thick satin casings.
I chose the glossiest, the shiniest,
Just as your parents chose you, too, you two:
A pair of bright stars in their loving eyes—
And in mine four thousand miles away.

Look—take them! In your baby hands you hold
The world & all your two sweet lives. You could
Dry them, preserve them in vinegar & bake them,
Knot them on strings & bash them in that old playground sport
Until they split & you can’t play for giggling.
Or you could open up your mother’s precious oil paints
And portray each chestnut’s singular loveliness
On a field of springy grass & autumn leaves.
Or you might turn them into castanets
And dance a tarantella in a swirl of skirts.

Or else, like me, your wordsmith grandmother,
You could grow a shiny conker
From the chestnut tree
Into happy poetry.

Words and image © Lizzie Ballagher

 

It’s National Poetry Day today!

Paper Dolls

Scissored, yet not severed,

Hand in hand, paper dolls unfold
In concertina form:
Heads & hands all level,
Shadow hearts beating between;
Feet all dancing the same straight floor,
If not to the same time,
If not to the same dance.

Hands stretch in telespace.
I speak to you, & you, by text & telephone & Skype:
Daughter to mother,
Mother to grandmother
In the miracle of melting miles,
No daughter without a mother.
Holding hands to heaven, we tread

The endless Eden dance.

© Lizzie Ballagher

Paper Dolls