Interstice – I, poems by John W Sexton
John lives on the south-west coast of Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being Petit Mal(Revival Press, 2009) and The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry 2013). His sixth collection, Futures Pass, is also forthcoming from Salmon. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.
You Freed the Night
i.m. Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
you freed the night
of their shouting and their singing
you climbed the village steeples
and freed the bells of ringing
you took the rainbow
from the moon
and turned it into water
you sailed across its shining skin
with every father’s daughter
you wore a hat of midnight
a suit of starless sky
the moon was in your pocket
and no one
quite knew why
one night you slept
said nothing in return
and Silence took you with her
to where distant heavens burn
The Pismire Engines
Not crushed velvet, velvet ant,
but velour with a sting or two;
and eggs to term inside a bee,
a yellow sweet as lemon curdle.
Engine ants, each ant a cog,
each cog an ant of the antbox;
the unborn sleep in their maggot state
to the grumbling nag of the queen’s hum.
Space distends in the earthen halls,
Time retards in grit and soil.
Existence blends beneath the lawn;
ships of antmind extricate.
Into space seep shining ants;
the universe is as large as it’s small.
Back they’ll come before they’ve gone;
for space is nothing to the antmind.
© John W Sexton