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Contributors
 

Evgeny Baratynsky
Pierre Chappuis
Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra
Osama Esber
Peter France
Haidar Haidar
Siobhan Harvey
Allen Hibbard
Neil Langdon Inglis
Suzanne Jill Levine
Kona Macphee
Antonio Diaz Oliva
Daniel Shapiro
John Taylor
Alan Wall

Issue 20 Guest Artist:
Olga Sinclair

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Vice-President: Elena Poniatowska
Senior Editor-at-Large: Neil Langdon Inglis
Deputy Editor: Allen Hibbard
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Theodore Zeldin

Assistant Editor: Sara Besserman
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Conor Bracken
Assistant Editor: Eugenio Conchez
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Assistant Editor: Lucila Gallino
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Assistant Editor: Krista Oehlke
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Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Two Poems by Kona Macphee
 

 



These poems are published in Kona Macphee's new collection What Long Miles, and appear here by kind permission of Bloodaxe Books.

Paschal
After Muldoon

This much we will not know -

whether we should have stopped, and if the broken lamb
that shuddered as we passed, but could not rise, would find
redemption or bleak mercy in some saviour grip,
or fade on the sheep-pocked hillside where it lay;

what slate our actions, our inactions tot their scores upon,
what act might wipe it clean; what use the blight of conscience
rising, like a tardy god, to wish our sins away;

from whence this spark, this flicker comes; where it may go;

this much we will not know.


Shunned

She was raised in the guise of a rose
(those sixteen years green-sprigged, bud-tight,
wearing the Lord's sharp words for thorns),
as though a flower might stay its opening -

but scarlet blooms on a hessian feedsack
spread in that hay-hushed cleft of the loft,
and smalltown whisperings begin to percolate,
to tantalize, like perfume on the wind;

and now, grubbed up, cast out, she clings
to the hills – a shack on abandoned ground
beyond the convex riverbend that crooks
the little houses, tiny righteous folk -

with only the steady wash of sun
to bathe her dandelion-yellow crown
of matted hair, the summer’s calm to tend
her belly swollen to a seed-head sphere,

and where, each night, some creeping Samaritan
delivers an egg – a jug of milk – some bread -
but never lingers, knowing the equal harms
a stray kind touch, a stir of breath might do.