St Catherine’s St Catherine’s
Coated optics Coated optics
Da hills o Clift The hills of Clift
watch oot watch out
Doon by da fit Down by the foot
o da galloo’s hill of the gallow’s hill
takk dy braeth take your breath
an English version, and the original Shetland one
Cognition's such an ugly word. Depression—a thumb print
on the moon. Beck who? Beckon me PhD on Jupiter.
No, too accessible—a black hole.
A black hole.
Two preps and lunch, summers free, I could be
comfortable here, easily adult among the adolescents.
Intern, earn and learn (all in turn).
Get a life.
Then I see him, headlocking her against a locker—
no affection, it's a threat. He sees me. Release
He shrugs, she breathes.
Do you always push girls around? Slow smile, then Yeah,
that could be me. I can see that in me—to be a woman beater.
But I don't need to beat her, she gives me everything
I am fifteen, sick to my stomach all the time, growing
smaller every day. So small—no one can see me.
You are fifteen, nameless, and all
Eyes closed, propelled by the shudder of a blow,
compelled by the secrets we breathe—I’m finishing
for you (for me) to never be
Pamela Joyce Shapiro
Turkey in the Straw
‘’Alice in Wonderland in the side pocket’’
The musicians take a break so I'm –
She's off to the bar for a soda –
Making a run around the carpet
I caught a glimpse of her she disappeared
behind lucky 7 8-ball missing too
I glance at the picture in my pocket
Slim and arched almost no breast line
Fiddle in one hand stick in the other
''Cue the moon and clouds''
‘’This is her, I mean she’’
‘’Side bank the Mandolin orange
into the corner pocket.’’
That year in that delirious spring
love letters were exchanged
without a word mumbled or said
volumes and volumes were spoken.
A small telegraph office
became the raison d’être for him
the reason to be
the reason to survive,
the intensity of their blaze poisoned his being
as he wrote letters like a lunatic
in the palm oil lamps.
What is love after all?
Words in envelopes made of linen paper with golden vignettes
Stealing an hour from a day to pour a glass of passion into paper
His mother shouting, “You are going to wear out your brains”
“No woman is worth all that”
Still more writing, more letters , more frenetic correspondence.
The letter unfolds and in between the words lies a camellia,
the flower of promises is what he sent her
She was young, unsure hence she returned it
Only to receive another letter this one being the last
It was the year they fell into devastating love
Love in the time of Cholera.