2 poems by Sarra Culleno

LITTLE RED MORRIGAN

Many moons ago / in a land of laws / now lost to time /when the goddess chose to favour a king / they saw that together / their land gave crops /their people were victorious / and all the land’s kingdoms prospered / The kings swore loyalty and protection / in return for Sovereignty’s gifts /A mutual return / a shared goal / a harmony ensuring Eire never a Wasteland became
/
It was at this time / a little girl found herself suddenly medium-sized / Perhaps it was something she ate / but somehow the world behaved differently now / full of wolfish riddles she was expected to solve / just because she had become medium-sized overnight / It seemed accepted by all but Brigit herself / that some epiphanic / earth-shaking new insight / should be conjured up automatically / alongside her new proportions /Which it was not
/
She climbed no trees today / play was withdrawn / No one called her Brigit anymore / she was only Aisling now / And tomorrow / why /they might call her Mother Danu / or Caelleach the Hag? / She had seen it happen before/ to be sure
/
Cowed and made meek by such expectations / she crept away from the Aonghus Bog / which threatened to enmesh her in its gory treacle / all the while hunched and shrinking herself under her red shroud / – too bright a hue to suit her yet – / to the shore / where she muffled her voice / under the sea / with the selkies / and her cries mingled unheard / beneath the call of the gulls above / She longed to join in their freedoms / to play in dancing dives and leaps / as their sounds stayed proud and large / behind roaring wind and water / During the wars / The Washer Women were seen / seeping these waters / with the battle blood of soldiers’ garments / and here Brigit’s red cloaks / swirled in the foam / much the same / It was in this spot / that at last / Sovereignty stood tall / to full height / with arms stretched out / to full span / so the wind / lifted her cloak like wings / and she added her irrepressible screams / to her land’s silent cacophony

SIX STOREY CONVERSION

1ST STOREY

Kabul Soccer Stadium’s goal posts sport a fresh white lick – over prints of taliban’s hung severed limbs – cut from convicts forced to kneel in the penalty spot – slumped shot – seeping onto soil – oozing gore onto grass so saturated it was dug to two metres to save today’s players swilling in open wounds – though green’s grown since – visitors fear hauntings at night – “better never means better for everyone – it always means worse for some”

2ND STOREY

penalised under the five mile act – non-conformists built refuge – adorned with organs – stained glass – ornate vaulted ceilings – The Unitarian Church High Pavement – a spiritual celebration – but irresolute – ephemeral – so that today – a mediocre chain-owned wine bar can sell happy-hour espresso martinis to Nottingham’s proletariat

3RD STOREY

“i had another name which nobody uses now because it is forbidden” – once upon a time a high school – repurposed in barbed wire – to fence and re-educate Gilead’s breeders – under the portmanteau of The Red Centre

4TH STOREY

Berlin’s Banana Bunker – wavering air-raid shelter – pliant to Soviets torturing prisoners of war – fermenting then into East Berlin’s warehouse for Cuba’s capricious bananas – oscillating next to orgies – hailed “the hardest club in the world” – until impermanent yuppies displayed their collections of art therein – “look on my works ye Mighty and despair

5TH STOREY

from industrial labyrinth of chimneys – spewing inky canopies – choking 300,000 worker bees toiling below – in dim damp – amidst screeching boilers – crunching wheels – arose The Hacienda – and Jerusalem was builded here in a dark Satanic Mill – slicing hell’s dark with glow of heavenly strobe – borrowing its fickle name from The Situationists – defying capitalism – defining New Order – now sold under the slogan “now the party’s over you can come home” – for one of the forms wealth takes when it hardens is luxury apartments crusting like stalactites into sharp shapes

6TH STOREY

flighty Manchester Central Railway Station – roofed by single span of wrought iron truss – converted to exhibit pretty innovations for a time – now a Nightingale Field Hospital – temporarily displays – with the army’s help – 1000 beds for the North West’s almost-dead – “this may not seem ordinary now but after a while it will”

Sarra Culleno is a British BAME poet, mother and English teacher who performs her writing at events across the UK. She writes about children’s rights, motherhood, identity, gender, age, technology, the environment, politics, modern monogamy and education. Sarra is widely published. She has written fiction and poetry for publication, performance, print, audiodramas, podcasts and radio. Sarra was longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize, for Nightingale and Sparrow’s Full Collections 2020, and nominated for Best of the Net 2020 by iambapoet. Sarra co-hosts Write Out Loud at Waterside Arts, and performs as guest and featured poet at numerous literary festivals.

Youtube.com/user/sarra1978 – YouTube

@sarracullenopoetry – Instagram

@sarra1978 – Twitter

Sarra1978@hotmail.com – Email

facebook.com/sarracullenopoetry – FaceBook

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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