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poems beginning with P by Jehanne Markham

Poems are catalogued alphabetically. Please select a specific section by clicking on the the alphabet above.

Click on title to see poems:
PARADELLE FOR KEATS
PARADISE BEACH
PRAYER





PARADELLE FOR KEATS

Keats, that room in Rome where you died
Keats, that room in Rome where you died
Was full of melancholy like an empty dairy
Was full of melancholy like an empty dairy
Rome was full. You melancholy, in an empty dairy
Like that room where Keats died.

The second floor of a strawberry pink house
The second floor of a strawberry pink house
Overlooking the square, the rusty palm trees
Overlooking the square, the rusty palm trees
A rusty pink, the second house, looking over
The square floor of the strawberry palm trees.

Whisper to me a secret feeling
Whisper to me a secret feeling
The blood from your lungs is breaking up
The blood from your lungs is breaking up
A secret is breaking, the lungs whisper up to me
Feeling from your blood.

You died in Rome, the second floor of
A pink house, over a square of melancholy.
Looking up, feeling an empty room,
The blood was like a strawberry breaking from your
Rusty lungs. The secret dairy, the palm trees
Whisper to me, where is that Keats?

from Thirty Poems Rough Winds 2004

PARADISE BEACH

The bones of good and evil lie up to their waists in sand.
Every day the colour of the water changes
sometimes it is bitter blue and green

revealing shards of flickering fish
and flattened fists of seaweed in its voluminous depths.

Other days it is cloudy, a broth of steel
scumming a wavy line along the curved arm of beach.

A classic horse-shoe cove
overlooked by scrub and rock and a white, bulbous church.

It holds its beauty modestly like an ancient stoic
it has to bear the violations of 20th century life.

A north wind brings a flotilla of bottles, split cups
silver crisp packets and other unbreakable things.

In the middle of the bay there's a rock like a shark's fin
arising from a swath of slippery ribbons with sea urchins

in a ring of soft black pins.
Twice I swim to it and climb onto its jagged ledges

like a clumsy mermaid triumphant at breaching
Neptune's imagined attack

I talk to myself as I swim back.

One day, just before dusk,
I walk quickly down the road,
passed three kittens mewling
from heart shaped mouths.
Passed fat Yani, taking the weight off his dainty feet
in his shop of red tins and brooms and vegetables
and salt fish and anything else you might need.
Passed his donkey waiting by the wall
and the sharp yellow leaves of the dried thistle.
Passed the hens roosting in the fig tree,
passed the stiff legs of the hobbled cows with their troubled eyes.
Passed all these distractions to the whispering sea:

Wait, wait for me!

I slip into the water
as the sun drips rose petals
into the dust-coloured ocean
and the mountains are drawn
in electric lines of pink and gold.
Then, on the beat of a bat's wing,
the beach lifts its lilac sails
and drifts towards the dark breath of night.

from Thirty Poems Rough Winds 2004

PRAYER

Remember that first dance in twenty o nine?
His silhouette and the waterfall of her shimmering skirt
as they drifted and swung in perfect time.

A beautiful couple, with the world at their feet
and his elegant hand on her bare back,
oh god it was sweet.

Now it's over, and it's sad as hell
as the the helicopter rises above the city,
Goodbye Barack, Goodbye Michelle.

January clenched its iron jaws;
whiter than white folk in the ascendancy
and the closing of many doors.

From Alabama to Tennessee
lost souls from the Southern States
progress to Washington DC.

Here's a prayer in the wind:
love thy neighbour from across the world and
let them in.

AUGUST

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