From Sentinel Poetry (Online) #25 2nd Anniversary Issue December 2004 http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/mag1204/page11.html
Barbara Smith lives on Ireland's eastern seaboard. Poems recently published, or pending includes: Riposte, Electric Acorn, Ireland; nthposition.com and The Coffee House, UK; Garm Lu, Canada; Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, US and TMR, India. Essays recently published include west47online and VirtualWriter, Ireland. Smith has published two volumes of poetry: Gnosis and Poetic Stage; the latter enjoyed moderate success both inside and outside Ireland.
BARBARA SINEAD SMITH
A WOMAN'S WORK
(After Kavanagh and Heaney)
My granny used to soak the spuds too
making it easy to peel them later.
Part of morning's ritual was topping
their pot with water . Later, after
fowl were fed and tae and bread were eaten
she'd peel them slowly; humming all the while
Moore's medley of almanac songs.
Steeping my potatoes now, as she did,
brings her four green fields down the years to me.
Scaly and red, my Roosters, instead of
her soft Queens; mine tattle of tractor harrow;
long scars that I smooth away with stainless
peeler. I rinse them down, split them with a
long broad knife and leave them by for dinner.
1. Roosters, Queens - types of potatoes currently grown in Ireland.
2. Moore's Old Almanac - an almanac giving tides, moon dates and other info. useful to farmers.
3. Four green fields - an Irish Ballad.
As the focus shifts onscreen,
layers of fat and bladder give
way to an image; teeth buds, skull,
arms, hands. A curlicue spine
all turned out from one fertilized
nucleus; one zygote.
And the focus shifts -
the factory needed workers;
they came in droves, with
builders and roofers all tumbling after.
No call was made; they just came.
The suburbs rose from
one side street, one city.
Another slide show shows
the glass house exposed;
it's inhabitants have been
here fifteen years, watched
by a greater being. Their queen
laid a future (after a one night
stand - and he died!)
that emerged howling
into the man-made storm
of tomorrow's world.
So, we prod that mass,
manipulate the medium;
watch flora atrophy from
the empty vessels fulcrum.
We share a future grown
by mould, fledged onscreen;
reduced to zero and one
and all the fractions
SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS, Every 3 months. Deadlines June 20th, September 20th, December 20th, March 20th. First Prize £150, Second Prize £75, 3rd Prize £50, Commendation Prizes 3 x £10. Entry Fees: £3 per poem, £12 for 5 poems. Judges, competition rules and how to enter online or by post at http://www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/
SENTINEL CHAMPIONS #6
In this issue of Sentinel Champions #6
The Scream - Samantha Symonds
Mayday - Andrew Campbell-Kearsey
Love at First Site - Andrew Campbell-Kearsey
A Way with the Kids - Sharon Birch
Crown of Burrs - G.H. Zitzelsberger
The Green Gators - Joey C. Aglasi
Getting Married with Gertrude Stein - Nicholas Y.B. Wong
Teaching English Poetry in Hong Kong - Nicholas Y.B. Wong
Thoughts on a Bad Day - Emanuela Puosi
Spock - Christian Ward
Tastes of Blue - Warren Paul Glover
Edinburgh - Warren Paul Glover
Voice in the Night - John Cooper
Leaving Day - John Cooper
The Age of No Dog - Mandy Pannett
Move On - Mark Borg
Please Destroy - Catherine Pitt
When Kieron Came - Heather Buswell
Dorm - Ilya Meylakh
Lines - Kate Barnett
Adventures in Writing Competitions Administration - Nnorom Azuonye
Sentinel Champions #6
Winners & Commended work from the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story Competitions judged and selected by Geoff Stevens (Poetry) and Ivor Hartmann (Fiction)
Perfect Bound: 60 Pages
£4.95 (UK), £5.95 (Overseas)
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