Poems by Ezra Maloney and Tamara Miles


Ezra Maloney is writer and student based in Dublin, Ireland. He has been published in a variety of student publications and newspapers and is currently working on his first poetry collection.

 

 

Connemara

There is something ancient in the air
this brutal landscape
flat as the back of your hand.
Your hair stands straight as beach grass
Standing in fields lousy with peat
as in the distance you can still hear
the beating of drums
The call to action of connaughtmen
Whose footsteps this ground remembers.

The wind rises and the sea spits
Over the beaches stiff with salt and history
From carraroe to clifden –
Connemara remembers her native tongue
A language that will not be vanquished.
(Beatha theanga i a labhairt.)

On a winter’s day you observe the land –
Where beauty meets terror along the edge of a coast
Where walls built by long-dead hands still stand
Where seaweed glistens on lonely beaches
You turn
facing this land
And know it as your own.

 

 

June

Sadness silenced me
like a glove over my mouth.
Caught by surprise
it pierced my heart
Red
like a child’s balloon,
with pin-fingered hands.

Often
I wake
Torn from sleep by some dark thing
or another
and lie
Watching hope sail like lost balloons
across the darkened sky.

 

 

 

Tamara Miles teaches college English and Humanities. Her poetry has appeared in Fall Lines; Pantheon; O’Bheal Five Words, Tishman Review; Animal; Obra/Artifact; Rush; Apricity; Snapdragon; Crosswinds Poetry Journal; Whatever Our Souls, Cenacle, and Oyster River Pages. A 2016 contributor at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a resident at Rivendell Writers Colony in August, 2017. She has an audio poetry journal/radio show at SpiritPlantsRadio.com called “Where the Most Light Falls.”

 

 

Sweetgum Ball

 

Spiny hotel with vacancies, pits,

ant caverns, acne scars,

 

jester’s hat, crown

of thorns,

 

hard sponge in my closed palm,

 

punchy like the massager I bought

for my feet at the health food store,

which I loaned to my yoga

instructor (she never gave it back).

 

It leaves imprints on my fingers

that could be used in forensics,

 

and with that thought an urge to get

in the pond, lie down, face first,

 

be discovered all mossy, poetically

dead, a ghost who haunts

the sweet gum tree.

 

Spiked hair. It rolls, tumbles,

pinball, prize – hides a tiny green

parasite —

 

instrument of torture,

pointed ball and chain, swinging,

swinging,

 

a world in an eyeball, globe,

 

a crucifixion grape.

 

 

Pond Host

 

Bullfrog, your skin like a Spanish olive,

your blotchy body hid in swaying grass,

sunny throat that bellows blasts of the blues

between a threat and an invitation,

 

so kind to introduce me to the pond

at ten a.m. for yoga on the grass.

 

I haven’t known too many better hours,

or less demanding, simpler times of bliss,

out here in my peaceful meditation.

 

When at your shore I roll my red mat out,

seat myself to gaze ahead at green depths,

into woods beyond, where a buck protests

my interference with his lovemaking,

 

I go green myself, I go dark and deep,

crave only a silent moth as my witness,

will myself to seek nothing but thunder.

 

The companion voices in your chorus

are masters of acoustics in the night

and will wrestle you down for a female —

 

others among you, I’m told, are silent,

strategic types who wait rather than fight.

 

Oh, bullfrog, what we do for the mating,

the certain grasp, so brief after the wait,

 

or for the ballistic lunge and tongue strike

that signifies a different, dark hunger.

 

 

 

Emboldened

 

It ought to invite awe,

a snowy owl, a-flight,

prey proudly carried through

pines in winter’s cold hours,

when even mental boughs

are glittered with fine frost.

Behold her in reverse,

her feathers still glowing.

 

Think of nothing else save

the true sound she questions

out at night to remote

half-believers who may,

or may not, hear even

if they listen, proving

more deaf than dumb to this

language of tree-roosters.

 

Try, in vain, to follow

close her swift, retreating

wings, immortal as we

are, coming through dusky

woods, our fingers clutching

tightly to us a love

docile, surrendered, but

still breathing on its own.