Category

Poems

P

Self-Love

S

I do not know if I was given James Herriot books to read as a child because I wanted to be a veterinarian or if I wanted to be a veterinarian because I was given James Herriot books to read as a child but at one point in the books or maybe all the time in all the books— I have no memory of any other events that happened in the books only that they were abundant and I read them and James Herriot a...

The Night Prayer’s Lord, a Poem

T

The poem “The Night Prayer’s Lord” like most of the poems in my most recent collection, Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects (Wolsak & Wynn), pays homage to the late Irish poet Dorothy Molloy who, in 2004, died ten days before her first collection was published by Faber and Faber. Though I lived in Northern Ireland during the 1990’s I never met Molloy. And yet she became my spirit...

Two New Poems by George Elliott Clarke

T

The poems happened completely by chance. This “chanciness” is deliberate. I begin to write something that’s vaguely about African slavery, and then a direction or impulse or voice imposes itself on the writing. These poems – Solomon 2 and Experience 1 – are based on my interpretation of how unlettered black (ex) slaves understood The Holy Bible – as a concrete work, as being about...

XVII, from The Minutes

X

Let’s begin: Come man know your span sing wilde curcles with no circumference where even the birds cannot pass an emptiness that contracts to a point no count is sure, there is no point to the act if you already know what will come to pass passes, bird- brained song man you know too well accounted for contracts the self. Odi et amo— Carolina Jessamine & honeysuckle— lanceolate feelings— itchy...

Poem: My Life Aboard the Last Sailing Ship Carrying Cumberland Coal

P

    You give your firstborn daughter A central-Asian name Meaning blue or water. Years later two bluebirds alight on either arm And an artist’s quick needlework Stitches birds to skin So even In your obsequies your fetlocks Wing away, appear then disappear. Of course Now you are a horse   With pale blue withers on a high Afghan plain. What does it mean to be Such a thing? Behind...

Poem: Three Studies of Fruit

P

  Have I painted these scenes? Or merely collected them? I will try to display them in pure colours, simplest form. i.   First: the orange of an orange1 in the dining room, Caroline is cutting the fruit for me and I am sitting on her lap when a cow rushes past the window startling me so I startle the knife and it bites2 my thumb between the knuckles.   I do not remember the cut...

Choice Poems: Zach Wells and Naomi Guttman

C

The TRB team is pleased to announce Choice Poems, a semi-regular series of poems on Chirograph curated by the TRB’s Poetry Editor, Moez Surani. For this, the first Choice Poems post, we’re climbing under the covers and into a lover’s heart with a pairing of poems on love and temptation. Zach Wells shows how a lover struggles to match the image that the beloved craves. Naomi...

Two Poems

T

Transnational marriage A tongue from a developed country Fallen into a developing mouth It discovers, the sanitation there’s a bit problematic The dentists are very irresponsible A cotton-ball from many years ago Still exuding residual warmth in some cranny It sheepishly wishes to make an exit But is clamped onto by the tips of incomplete teeth In the name of love In the name of profound and all...

SPRING: A Poem

S

Listen to the author read this poem:  Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. (i) You visit each day in a different dress, a clear umbrella for the rain. Coffees. And one day this week, with a daisy whose stem you sawed with a kitchen knife    ...

Toronto, January 2012: a Poem

T

For JP Here is a curbed and censored winter— its skies are blank as paper. So instead we read the sidewalks sanded bone-white by a wind made fast and loose on northern highways. They draw chalk lines over crabgrass relapsed since November. “Never mind,” they say, “This is no bardsung city of love, just the brick and stockyard reckoning of economical men.” Now there’s not a solitary leaf to hide...