Liz, instigator, initiator and inspiration behind Poetry Thursday, asked that I share this poem with you. It was shortlisted for a competition recently, and to my delight, included in a festival annual - along with luminaries like Seamus Heaney and Mark Doty. And I was just thrilled to find my poem on the page facing one by Nikki Giovanni - whom I'd only come across a few weeks ago, when Liz put this link on her page. The first line was given to me by Cathal O'Searcaigh, a wonderful Irish-language poet and one of the most inspiring workshop leaders I've ever come across.
My country tastes of Blackberries and Brambles,
of thorns and fallen leaves.
Her mouth is full of little apples, bitter sloes.
There is the must of autumn on her breath.
My country’s coat is all pulled threads,
lost buttons. Her treasures have slipped
from torn pockets,
lost on leaf-littered paths,
among broken conker-shells,
My country is no simple place.
Her heart has fool and fury written on it.
Her eyes range wide, settle seldom.
My country has an ancient, sometimes cruel face.