Olga Dermott-Bond, spaces of somewhere else

High heels

Feet, soft as dumpling rolls, are pushed to the front
of mum’s 70’s stilettos, stopping two sentences short.

My toes are spelt out like words I can already read
a at dog Jane Peter Peter Jane dog at a

The spaces behind my heels are unknown prairies, un-
chaptered tornadoes around my wheat-stalk-wobbly legs.

I begin, delighting in high heels chattering alveolar trills
across a yellow kitchen floor, stammered steps dragging

fricatives over cold tiles – calves, ankles, arches lifted
impossibly high, spare like sparrowed cheekbones.

I pretend backwards, forwards with scribbling urgency I
can only guess waitingwaitingjustwaiting to be grown up.

Pear Tree Park and Ride

I sit behind you both, in summer’s double-deckered heat,
you are bare-armed, pale Irish linen, in your sundresses,

shoulder bones sparrow joints; the space between them open
brackets; porcelain necks, smooth and fine as teacup handles.

You sit side by side, sharing haribo-sweet skin, sticking to
each other like golden teddies, fried eggs, or gluey hearts.

Sugar transformed. Legs swinging, your excitement tastes
fizzy, the heat through windows is a metallic pear drop.

Seats are fuzzy felt, the backs of muffled knees are hot-itchy,
dressed in synthetic mittens, knitting sweaty legs together.

Cathedral windscreens; traffic lights are stained glass; you catch
glimpses of your own reflections, falling through rabbit holes of

sunshine. Gears change, lurch, repeat; familiar as times tables,
tyres over splayed potholes are ridiculous clown feet, the engine

judders through jiggling spines. You practise saying your names,
sounding half-robot half-opera singer, notes frothy as milkshake

all the while you hold onto the handle, colour of a bouncy hopper,
pushing and pulling yourselves forwards, backwards, because you

are trying to row high above Oxford houses. You duck to avoid
capsizing, as tree branches boom, the sound of thunder, followed

by scrabbling of twigs like crow’s feet, frantically tap dancing on
the roof. Nearly there. You are both disappointed – not ready yet

to climb down from trees, robots, clowns, wonderlands, sweetshops.

odd sock

dusty relic
enveloped in itself
stuck together with

forgetfulness, crumpled
small and dry,
discarded by a

hot child at the end
of a heavy summer
school day.

I think I remember
you peeling it off –
impatient and pliable and plastic

then fairy feet paddling away
leaving sticky patches
like love hearts
on the wooden floor.

What was it on that day
that made me drop this
so it could shrink

to an origami bird
nesting in deepest recesses
of the dark?

Here it has waited,
leaf-rigor gathering
dust clouds,

its cotton corpse tight,
I try to lay its little body

out straight
to give it
a decent burial.

The bare trees sway.
I have happily turned
myself inside

out for you, but
too soon I will live
down the back of the sofa

wondering where you went.

late afternoon

torn up
beating wings
of dark branches,
you have become
reluctant sunlight
black red
black red
on my
shut-tight eyelids.
I take this
late afternoon
carve it
out of my side,
each rib-thin
fragment flickers
I drive familiar
battered cine reels
that show a
rickety squinting
of us of us
of us:
I fall upwards
each leaf-mosaic,
a splintered
our skittering history
turned into
these turning
tiny bright
spaces of

somewhere else.

From Northern Ireland, Olga studied English Literature at the University of St. Andrews. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has been commissioned to write for Poetry on Loan and has had work published in a range of publications including Dodging The Rain, Rattle Magazine, and Poets Reading the News. Her flash fiction is soon to be published by Paper Swans. In 2017 she was shortlisted in the National First Story Competition, longlisted in The Poetry Society’s Primers publishing prize, commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize and won the Forward/Emag creative – critical competition.

For more of Olga’s poetry on Dodging The Rain, click here.

2 thoughts on “Olga Dermott-Bond, spaces of somewhere else

  1. I love how well ‘High Heels’ and ‘Odd Sock’ capture the significance of seemingly insignificant childhood moments, and how beautifully ‘Pear Tree Park and Ride’ shows how amazing everything is when viewed through the lens of a child’s imagination. Gorgeous!


  2. Her Poems:
    Poems entrancing
    Tugging my heartstrings.
    Telling stories
    Transfixing me so long my coffee goes cold.


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