Kate Ennals – A Daisy Chain for my Father

Ennals LE P&W January 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, January 2024

A Daisy Chain for my Father, poems by Kate Ennals.

A Daisy Chain for my Father

The curve of his spine as he sits at the table
The whisper of page as he skims his paper
The gigantic of we with me on his shoulders
The clam of his forehead clutched by my fingers
The brick of pub wall beneath my plump legs
The twist of blue salt in a crinkle of crisps
The cleft of his chin under the thin of his lips
The rise / fall of his belly through his afternoon kip

The delicate of daisies I thread to chain him to me
The snap when he wakes and shakes me away.

Old Guard

At 11 o’clock, my world stopped, church bells rang
I turned, lowered my hand, kissed your cheek

(here, I want to say it smells of roses, but it is
caked in mud and grime, tastes of ash and iron).

Blood drips from a gash in your neck.
I’m not sure if you are dead or alive, I scramble

(here, I want to write of eggs, fluffy and
yellow, on toast, seasoned to taste).

scarper, clamber over the edge
crawl a moonscape of barbed wire and death to

(here, I want to say to a place of heavenly grasses,
angels with wings, an adagio of strings).

I come to a street with no end and a paper cup.


At 5 o’clock, I stroll the loch shore
hear a chorus of quacks and clucks
grunts and honks of waterfowl

Out of the blue
comes a drumroll
I raise my eyes
see a line
of whooper swans
in the sky
beating a path
one by one
as they come to land
each swan spreads her wings
and taking a vertical stance
halts her flow of light
her neck straight
head held high
feathers stretched wide
and, for an instant
in the gloaming flight
each bird transforms
into a Celtic cross
poised in glory
mid drops of water
then folds
on the lake
like origami
and sails away
a ghost

© Kate Ennals

Kate Ennals has published poems and short stories in a range of literary and on-line journals (Crannog, Skylight 47, Honest Ulsterman, The International Lakeview Journal, Boyne Berries, North West Words, Crossways, The Ogham Stone, Poetry Ireland Review, plus many more). She has published three collections of poetry. At The Edge (Lapwing) was published in 2015. Threads (Lapwing), was published in April 2018. Elsewhere (Vole Imprint), in November 21. Her fourth, Practically A Wake, will be published in 2024 (Salmon Poetry).

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