after Brendan Kennelly
by Vinny Glynn-Steed
Speak to me of that night of troubled oarsmen, how we found
our lineage in timber’s forlorn form
a slanted, broken mast; a forgotten import from Golgotha.
Speak also of the colour of puddles
the gentle sheen of periwinkles on a helter-skelter shoreline,
hues of lavender and lilac, and of the struggle with our own slants and levels.
How weight of time slipped our busy hands fumbling with the frame.
And in pallid winter light we stood there afterwards
silent and vulnerable as the orange lilies
braced against the stagnant on our sitting-room table.
How the painting might have been of us instead
standing in a room, sharing hands and staring at the wall.
Speak to me of how you have longed for this
of what it means to be outside but looking in.
How in darkness the halogen street-lamp
drizzles light through mamba green branches.
And before you stay
tell me why the music in your stomach died
how silence packed our rooms in single file
like the shuffling of mute mourners
after the first time that you left.
Headstuff is now open for poetry submissions for our spring Poem of the Week series. We are extending this deadline to the end of April. We are also accepting submissions for Poetry Week. Submission window for Poetry Week is open until the 31st of March 2020. Check our submissions page for guidelines.