SPOTLIGHT: ‘Chiaroscuro’ by Jane Mainley-Piddock

To Mr Critic

That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it.
But I like that line just where it is,
and the work’s all mine not plagiarised
from elsewhere or stolen from someone else.
Unlike your review, which isn’t brand new
and had been decided by other’s
more bold and original than you

The Wee Small Hours

Damn inspiration at 2am
When all I want is sleep
Wine bottle and cigarettes staring
Disconsolately from the side table
While the coffee tries to creep
Into my veins like an IV of wakefulness

Oh muse this time you are an annoying
Presence – you with your little pointy stick
That jabs my consciousness with
These roughhewn words, that fry the
Edges of my mind like little chattering birds

The cats slips past and staring quickly
Gets the measure of my flailing
And fleet of foot takes a drink from the toilet
Ignoring her water bowl
Oh glamorous life the inspiration of
A poet these are the wee small hours
Wouldn’t you but know it.

The Three Fates

My three great Irish aunties
Always had an open house for
Poker and pochean (get me my
Medicine from O’Leary wud ya gal?)
Eileen would exclaim each morning
At eleven – whilst they exchanged
Hypochondriac fancies to the beat
Of the small radio.

“Oh Francis had a lovely funeral
Didn’t ya know? – the lads all in black
with their balaclavas, and the priest
(she crossed herself) well the Father
Said you know” “Yes I know”
Said Mary – but then you can’t beat
A lovely knees up No?” “No” the
Three chorused and laid beatific eyes
On the picture of the heavenly mother
Above the parlour door.


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