John W Sexton – Interstice II

Profile John W Sexton Live Encounters Magazine July 2017

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Interstice – II, 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

The People Under

ripples shake
with a tremor
of light

strike off
across the sun

we look into
the pond
see our burnished selves

The Buying Power of Nine

With nine tin sixpences the widow’s son
Purchased the knowledge coveted by some
That allows one to fly without bird’s wings
That gives a sweet voice that no bird sings

So up through the mountain the lad was sent
While the nine sixpences were roundly spent
One sixpence bought a hundred-weight of hair
One sixpence bought thirty-one lungs of air

One sixpence bought an ocean, light as mind
One sixpence bought the moon’s discarded rind
Once sixpence bought a pocketful of mice
One sixpence bought the concept known as Twice

One sixpence bought Lord Odin’s bartered eye
One sixpence bought the truth wrapped in a lie
One sixpence bought a death and thus a life
For it bought the son of a dead man’s wife

So up through the mountain the young man went
And against a raincloud he deftly leant
And stamped his way in on its dewy floor
Till it lifted upwards with him on board

A speckle in the sky he soon became
Nameless in that space despite his name
His calls were carried and seeded the rains
He became rivers, oceans, and rain again

And is still heard singing at each rainfall
He’s as wide and as deep as the sky is tall

© John W Sexton

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