Kevin Graham

The Pigeon House

  (after ‘The Pigeon House Fort, Dublin Bay, from Clontarf’, 1877
  by Robert G. Seymour)

Like a battleship interred by the elemental tide
it holds sway, compresses dust in stone buildings
and weeps oblique smoke into watercolour sky.

Out on Wharf Road a prodigal boy is beginning
to piece together the possibilities afforded by distance
and time.
      A horse and cart labour in the sand,
leave rutted tracks to be licked slowly from the land
by the bruised scrap of the sea.
                At a glance

it is all memory, a pastel shot snatched out of the past;
a world we would inhabit but for the knowledge
of the future we possess: how the soft horizon has

turned brash with the business of enterprise,
man-made hazards raising their ugly salutes to the rest
of the republic, who sit waiting on a knife-edge.

 

 

The Ghost House

In the garden ivy climbs the border wall; trees
jostle to leave but give up and stay.
                The roof
is book-ended by two giant chimney pots
who bend moaning wind down their chutes,
into a dead living room.
              Wallpaper peels
away like skin to reveal dates and spidered initials.

The empty doorways are fleshy black holes
secreting the stench of rotten mulch, old violence.

It feels secret, but something happened here.

Upstairs a bed is skewed; the impression of a hand
lingers on a vanity mirror.
                Fear

is knowing suspicion exists to be confirmed,

which is why down the street the grand piano
you didn’t see strikes up an impromptu concerto.

 

 

 

Kevin Graham lives and works in Dublin. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Crannóg, The Shop, Southword, The Moth and others. He was chosen to participate in this year’s Poetry Ireland Introduction Series.

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