Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland, and was educated at University College Cork. Previously she has published one collection of poetry, Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010, and has since been published in a variety of print and online journals. She has also published a novel, The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014.
Some personal whiplash fails to stall you
Careering at speed across vales and hills
When all of a sudden, reality nibbles
At the end of the day, what do you like?
Subject matter, however dark
Circumambulates quickly across the screen
Green is the colour of a growing scum
Spreading, despite effort over common avenues.
Wear your own clichés like a string of pearls
Format and circumstance rolling down hills
Ruined by praise, helped by pity, nonetheless
Resting in peace finally a good idea.
Adjust your prayer mat accordingly
Orientated on a watery sun, fixated
On the vicissitudes of a wandering star
Mercury in retrograde complicating matters
Perusing sacred test of your own lifestory
Camdles lit in defiance burn sweetly
Smoke rising to heaven from your joint
Liberating consciousness from the keeper.
A child of the universe you are, no less
Than any creature of the cosmos, redeemed
Beautiful in every way, why complicate
The stations of your cross with narrow conflict?
“Make note of the fire exits.”
A hasty blur of so-called people
avoid the signs that be, losing parity.
Taking the fun out of everything
the necessary foray to the beer garden
to shoot up nicotine, freezing for the privilege.
So much for fire. A hazard on each table
milling pints two after the other
never flying on one wing, occasional merriness.
An occasional fanfare releases the food.
A thirtieth, a fortieth, a millstone marked
deserted for evermore, now left alone.
It’s still bright outside. Still warm outside
“Is that door still cold on your backs?”
I never complain, having to finish a drink
before saturation point, sensibility kicking in,
a rare entity around here, but have no mercy
for another, so please God, leave me alone.
It’s the longest day of the year, it feels like it
a resolute slog betrays itself
exiting for posterity, a necessity sought
Not a sound, tinkling over the far dapple
crowns the fell swoop of taking flight.
People sit behind you, for convenience and
somehow, ascertaining your thoughts.
I was the local joke, screened obsessively
what was moving my lips was fascinating
the price of association was too much
pointing the direction of the bus, an obvious sign.
The back-end of the continuum haunts me.
Tacked onto some boy’s tawdry come-ons
knowing more about me than I do myself
miniature psychoses still entertain.
My fame precedes me, dubious or otherwise
secrets kept open, a facile target
does not stop with the accession of a bell
nor at the bus stop, catcalling de rigeur.
Wanting me to be locked up, a cry unheard
was me in the gutter, selectively silent.
Crying for acceptance, blowing the disinterest
that pegs me on a level, a clown unheard
A stain on a handkerchief unhorses you.
Sinking in estimation, exiled to bed rest
bottling the fear that now defines you.
These days I exult in airy corridors
sunk in daytime television, a glory
in nightclothes, stemming escapism.
Every so often I encounter others
much worse off than myself, a lesson
to be learned by the able-bodied.
Plumbing for cigarettes, an incessant cry
from the institutionalised, a robotic urge
to entertain oneself, sate eternal longing.
The jolly trolley metes out the sedation.
Quelling revolution, the dependents seek
once more, what’s good for them, still quiet.
This is just a plague I’m going through.
A blip on the canvas, a blot on the copybook
of an otherwise stainless personality.
Condition accepted by one and all.
God-awfully scripted by a quarter-witted loon
that stains the morning star, a required bed rest