The Flitting

by Medbh McGuckian

You wouldn’t believe all this house has cost me-
In body language  terms, it has turned me upside down.
I’ve been carried from one structure to the other
On a chair of human arms, and liked the feel
Of being weightless, that fraternity of clothes
Now my own life hits me in the throat, the bumps
And cuts of the walls as telling
As the poreholes in strawberries, tomato seeds:
I cover them for safety with these Dutch girls
Making lace, or leaning their almond faces
On their fingers with a mandolin,  a dreamy
Chapelled ease abreast this other turquoise-turbanned,
Glancing over her shoulder with parted mouth.
 
She seems a garden escape in her unconscious
Solidarity with darkness, clove-scented
As an orchid taking fifteen years to bloom,
And turning clockwise as the honeysuckle-
Who knows what importance
She attaches to the hours?
Her narrative secretes its own values, as mine might
If I painted the half of me that welcomes death
In a faggotted dress, in a peacock chair,
No falser biography than our casual talk
Of losing a virginity, or taking a life, and
No less poignant if dying
Should consist in more than waiting.
 
I postpone my immortality for my children,
Little rock-roses, cushioned
In long-flowering sea-thrift and metrics,
Lacking elemental memories:
I am well-earthed here as the digital clock,
Its numbers flicking into place like overgrown farthings
On a bank where once a train
Ploughed like an emperor living out a myth
Through the cambered flesh of clover and wild carrot.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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"In these last years, the glacier had turned a dull, trembling pink and industry bloomed like soft dough, the city a softly-molded mountain." - 'Summer Job as a Glacier Tour Guide' by Joyce Zhou, Melting Ice challenge winner issuu.com/poetrysociety/… #InternationalMountainDay Retweeted by The Poetry Society

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It's Day 11 of our #Advent Calendar and we have the brilliant #FoyleYoungPoet Suki Datar Jones's winning #poem Snakes and Ladders. Illustrated by @chrisriddell50 @PoetrySociety "We will only see grass in video games." Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Delighted to be reading a new commission (not even yet in idea form!) at this @PoetrySociety National Poetry Competition 40th Anniversary event on 20th March 2019 - in most illustrious company: poetrysociety.org.uk/event/national… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Congratulations young winners of the @Nspc4Peace poetry prize, announced at House of Lords tonight by @tallykoren & Lord Eames

test Twitter Media - Congratulations young winners of the @Nspc4Peace poetry prize, announced at House of Lords tonight by @tallykoren & Lord Eames https://t.co/9OacvSNRpw
test Twitter Media - Congratulations young winners of the @Nspc4Peace poetry prize, announced at House of Lords tonight by @tallykoren & Lord Eames https://t.co/9OacvSNRpw

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Poetry Society member Chris Edgoose blogs about his experiences at one of our regular discussion groups for The Poetry Review, reflecting on the magazine's autumn issue: woodbeepoet.com/2018/11/30/poe…

test Twitter Media - Poetry Society member Chris Edgoose blogs about his experiences at one of our regular discussion groups for The Poetry Review, reflecting on the magazine's autumn issue: https://t.co/tADQBEj7Am https://t.co/bDDHFUmwGb

The Guardian selects its best poetry of 2018, inc Danez Smith,Tracy K Smith, Jericho Brown, Robin Robertson, Ann Wroe, Mark Ford, Hannah Sullivan, Nick Laird, Martina Evans, Clive James & England: Poems From a School ed. Kate Clanchy theguardian.com/books/ng-inter…