L I t T e R

Back to Leafe home

Back to Litter home

Mary Maher


At Bridgeness
on The Forth

on a stone
in the Antonine Wall

a young man is blowing
into the second century

and beyond,

hunting and calling

the vessels of the heart.

Coaxed into impudence
his wood
leapt into the chase

but excelling in the slow expression
it emerged solo

sustaining the long note

by two loose fists

and nothing

without its soul mate
who listens in chasms
and inlets

beneath the high wood.


1. Deadline
for Alison

She’s terrified.
Wants to garden.
Plant vegetables.
Get chickens and ducks.
Sort out that bloody badger.
And there’s the novel.
That last chapter still needs doing
because of vegetables,
chickens and ducks
so she stays up all night
putting the finishing touches
because tomorrow
she goes under the knife.

2. Everything's in the Garden

Alison points to
a new rope for roses
- the old Albertine's already out -
new wisteria, clematis,
new irises by the pond
- a damselfly bolts from the blue -
lettuces, broadbeans,
a courgette bank.
A collie, still young
- as young as Alison's flushed cheeks -
follows her round and round the garden
while cats on outside chairs in the sun
lick confidence into shape forever and ever.

3. Sweet Disorder

...cossets her.

Grass let loose unlocks her feet; riskiness
honoured overhead
by an unpruned branch.

Full-on roses, give the come-on
and a blue iris almost hidden
among tall reeds

is like a name on the tip of your tongue:
fragile as ...
one and only, ...you,
and I remember when...

The path is overwhelming.
Such a hug
could take her back
to the centre
of anywhere
she's ever known.

And just visible, embedded in mud
and long green blades
is that old stone which marks
she's here.

4. Going Inside

Her head hums with life.
Her fingers itch.
Now for the unknnown.
It's time to put things
down on disk
tap tap tip tap tap.
Some fictions published.
More to do.

Copyright © Mary Maher, 2005