Tales from the non-verse, poems by Arthur Broomfield
Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet and Beckett scholar from County Laois, Ireland. His most recent publications are his poetry collection Cold Coffee at Emo Court [Revival Press 2016], and The Empty Too : language and philosophy in the works of Samuel Beckett[ Cambridge Scholars’ Publishing 2014]. His poems have been widely published in Ireland, the UK and USA. His poetry turned towards surrealism in 2017 following a workshop with the English surrealist poet Hilda Sheehan. Dr Broomfield was awarded his Ph.D in English literature by Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick in 2008.
After the prize-winning garden exhibition : Bridging the Gap
Flaxen- haired, more arch than bridge
it draws me towards
the pledge of a mythic poise.
The unkempt carex, its sweep and flow –
each strand defiant in its prickly,
disinterested, sun-blessed way –
confers with the grace
rooted in the grand ascent,
reflects the light of the early chords
of a Mozart nocturno,
the life of space and time itself,
its very bend.
It shelters mauve grey masses
of marshalled sedums,
darkened replicas of itself,
tucked within the folly of its proposition,
that have eyes only for the identifiable,
the occasional slice of sky.
They march to the strains of useful chores,
and may never know the deception,
their hours and days, their destiny.
The arch carries me from the escapable
to a notion of reality that mystifies the senses
I at first avert; its plastic rectangles, their rigid outline
its sole concession to civilised discourse,
at odds with their translucent, eerily blue
interior that resists presentation.
They waltz in conviction to an air ethereal
beyond the convocation of ceremony and element,
intoning an idea that taunts curve
at the pregnant sun, the fallow stars.
October evening Clonreher
The sky hung high above the silent moon
beyond Venus and Duffin’s Cross.
It was time, before The Archers
and ‘Radio Newsreel’,
to run across the yard
toward the horse field gate,
past the sleeping hens, the hushed ducks,
the munching cow house and hay-filled haggard
teeming with countrified rats and mice,
themselves fulfilling the narrative that made them,
each believing in its particular
to clutch the tingle from the expected,
the cameo appearance of the beet train,
performing its drive-on part
to the chug chug impromptu
of cymbal clashes regulating belches of steam
and hissed acknowledgements of love
to an audience of one,
staged to a backdrop of glittered stars
in Mrs Delaney’s field.
The Emo Poem
This is my swan poem
conceived in Young’s of Norwich
called The Canaries.
A lone bird on a black pond
calm as dew
knows that Leda will come
in the noon sun.
It’s square and braided
black as The Book of Common Prayer
I am forbidden to open
this heathen prediction.
I have criss-crossed the cosmos
on this my first pilgrimage
and the night lights scare me,
the curious star
In the cold dawn, singing.
Tales from the non-verse
I am embalmed in shipwrecks and string quartets.
I glide along a gossamer girder
with my non-gender mistrust of the non-verse,
we dress in corduroy tights and high heels
and shave with acetylene blow lamps.
I am here, I watch an old woman,
he wears widow’s weeds, is me,
she and he go cluck cluck cluck
as they scatter potato skins and radioactive oats
for the drones I send
that buzz around their ears.
I have implanted French fries in her head.
© Arthur Broomfield