Charlotte H – National Poetry Day – a dedication

8 Oct

In a crepuscular recognition of National Poetry Day and in anticipation of the new Mouthy year, I thought I’d post a few verses composed over the past year or so in Mouthy sessions.


You told me how some fish have names

derived from cod like codling, codlet or tomcod

but how some names have become

too well established,

so well established that they’re hard to shake off

even if they don’t fit anymore.


Field these questions to me I

will lob them with my bat

backhand if you like.

I will pretend I’ve answered them

secretly under my breath but

I will have whacked them into outrageous space

before your very eyes


Like I’m wearing a neon orange

T-shirt that says ATM.

A foolish foreigner who doesn’t know their secrets.

I have eaten powdered meat and potatoes brought back

to life with water boiled over coals sold cheap to me at twice the price.

This year though, I talked in their language and paid the same as them

still twice the price.


George Bush Senior is after me. He is in a limousine chasing me up the lane to Primary School but we are both moving glacially. He has guys in the back. Jump to on stage in the school play. It’s a slapstick comedy scene where I hide from the baddies by donning the costumes and fake moustaches of different characters. A lift. A space lift.


We acted it out in the classroom

because I didn’t know what the words meant

and it was something meaningful to do

with our time together in Los Almendares

I didn’t know if he fell from the branch

or the branch fell from him

I stood in a chair and she mimed catching me

When I handed her ten dollars or was it pesos

she checked the glass in the door for passers-by

And I didn’t understand if they were looking

up at her or down at her

In that room where we laid it all out

I also got the measure of things but

I still have trouble with subir and the other one.


Did you know you can get your hair longed?

I got my hair longed.

Thought it would look nice for the St George’s Day Parade.

Turns out they made it from Chinese noodle soup. Has to

Be the soup first. Not just noodles or it won’t work.

Can’t wait to show my noodles to St George.

He’ll love them. Back in his day you couldn’t get your hair longed.

China didn’t exist then. It was just England.

I suppose we’ve got something to thank them for.


Stock rotation gone wrong

on the kitchen table

giddy aroma floated away as

we backed and forthed about

unpacking our bag for life.

Knowing we hadn’t lost everything

I sliced the skin with a knife

in the wondrous way I was taught

long before life-hacks packed

juice into the driest of feeds

Well concealed, playing dead

teeth unleased

a reservoir of tang.


Emerging pixellated from the bleak

The shape of a town beset by its own nook

The geodestiny of an overcast corner

The arse-end of a plastic bag

No through roads.

Only inroads on which cats have shut their eyes for good.

God save those children

Those little blackened, mouldy lumps of feta

crumbling into cheese sludge when

it rains bin juice.

Overhead the crows fly by

refusing to even shit on this place.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: