The Cherry Tree, and other poems by Paul Bregazzi
Paul Bregazzi’s poetry has been published widely in; e.g: The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stony Thursday Book, The Stinging Fly, Dodging the Rain, The Wells Review, Magma (U.K.), Fields Magazine (Univ of Texas at Austin), The French Literary Review (France). His haiku and haibun in: The Shamrock Haiku Anthology II, Between the Leaves ~ New Haiku Writing from Ireland, Presence, Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Blithe Spirit. Selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introduction Series 2015. Winner of Cúirt New Writing Prize for Poetry 2017. Awarded Tyrone Guthrie Centre residency in 2018. Co-founder of the Dublin monthly literary and open-mic group Listeners with Daragh Bradish and a member of Quarterman, a four-man performance collective. His first collection is forthcoming with Salmon Press in 2020.
The Cherry Tree
My hand moves along the snow ridge of your back
as the friday light moves into its evening.
Each time you stir and wake me
it has slid a little more to dark.
The cherry tree’s blossoms shine out .
Soon they will rain snow petals and later
the crows’ bombardment of slippings
will thump beak-marked onto the shed
or lie in wait under grass
for the passing feet of summer.
But now in the darkening friday,
my hand curves past your hip
as the cherry blossom begins to melt.
In a City Garden
Lush of geranium cloy and leaf fuzz
and mother’s scent of night stock.
Then the secrets to pass; the dragon that could gape,
the sour-bellied sorrel by the blue barred gate.
Rambling roses for the nuns’ altar, arm hefts of lilac dust
dark after summer’s evening fall.
One fence he built of greying boards.
One fence he pliered of coat hangers.
A plate cooling in balance on the sash window
above a long-cracked sill of granite.
Once a rabbit with the smell of a stable
Once a mouse kept, in the red boot of a tricycle.
I despised my father then
for collecting me from school
standing with his old bike
amongst all the mothers
I have blackened the memory of him
putting me on the crossbar
me climbing or him lifting me
of weaving through a flotilla of prams
till I jumped off short of our house
before his lunchtime ran out.
I despaired for my father
folded up on the stairs
over our pile of shoes
brushing polishing buffing
till he was reflected in the shine
the shine we would then go
and scuff down
once we had turned away.
From the turning the lambs were promised.
The grass promised.
Cherry blossom fell in beds for them.
The muck of the lane glistened on oiled pools
they would soon sniff and dip a toe in,
the sleek scum slicking their demonic black olive toes.
The turf sprung in test of their leaping.
Light rains eased the grass through its sheaths.
The lower haggard gate crooned an easing for the first one,
And the sheen of breaking waters fell to the grass
and eased into the earth.
Breaking Bottles at the Old Men’s Shelter
Dennis bends over teachests of cullet
pick and throw pick and throw
his back broadened by his broadcoat
his grizzled head turtles from his collar
he is here in crud and old fear regardless
drink cakes the corner of his mouth
his lined hands pause in their picking
pinch tobacco threads from his lips
rummage in the depths of his shellcoat
surface with a cockle-paged notebook
he mooches in it with his bookies pencil
reburies it in his undergrowth
shambles down the yard now for tea
the yard end his terminus
some Greek hero in a long travail.
© Paul Bregazzi