Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fish-lips - Mag 265

© Shers Gallagher 2015

I open my belly to a fish

that hungers with bubbled breath.

Never satisfied,

it hunts me shark-like

and gnaws on everything within.

Restless, wormy, squirmy thing,

splishing and splashing

and betraying my confidences.

I wish to snap its bones

and suck it to the marrow,

making soup of its shiny schools

of puffer-faced fins

all swimming in opposite directions.

If I don't feed you,

you'll surely turn around

and bite me

with your fish-lips!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My English Gates - Mag 261

©Shers Gallagher 2015

My English gates
are cold and bare
with alleys paved in gore,
laid and guttered every which-way
by games of thrones and chapel whores.
A cobbling of rehashed tongues
becomes the rage of Franco-Anglophile wars
as Britannia lays claim to American land
en-route to virgin shores.
She is acting perversely
with villainous plots
as morality plays unfold,
while Wilde – born too early but waiting too long – 
lies castrated in native soil.
The tragic farce is a Goose beguiled
who rocks her cradle inclined.
For all the King’s men can't even return
one round-tabled knight 
of inglorious swine.
Still, our elders rise in celebration
of tunes danced cheek to cheek.
And our betters raise their tea and toast; 
to every brave soldier, they sing.
And to merchantmen of Romeo style
chasing all the marigolds into spring.
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
and pretty maids all in a row.”

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Drapetomania, go forth! - Mag 253

©Shers Gallagher 2015

Curtaining the intrigue of living life
that is not cooed by the illusions only youth holds onto,
I allude to the chasing after a moment's bouquet -
the breathing in and breathing out of a bottle opened, 
its nectar partaken -
and the drinking in of rainbows and fairy dust.
What sweet relish in its aftertaste
while going deliciously mad in any attempt 
to savour the remnants of such a parting glass. 

Cheers to Tess and Ronaldo! ;)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

PINK - Mag 251

©Shers Gallagher 2014

In the very rudeness of innocence and health, 
in the banal blushes of in-your-face femininity,
genteelly crosses politics with its flair for poetics 
in the orchestrations of a raunchy girl’s band.

This is PINK 

at its best and worst,
for it is ostentation
coloured in cruel overtones that are not to be ignored. 

PINK is the colour of spy panthers 

charged with espionage as flamingos loiter close by 
in shameless settings of the unapologetic rich.

And it’s PINK’s adorable flair for playing at underwear espionage

in the advertisement of free panties with every naughty-but-nice purchase
in the midst of diabetics gambling on that dying rush of sticky sweetness
while just thinking PINK.

Aisling Books ~Magpie Tales 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Canvassed Starry Nights - Mag 234

©Shers Gallagher 2014

In the land of van Gogh
I have wandered 
by canals and dikes
of blanketed hills,
with gold-faced flowers.
And of Vincent's world
I have whirled and danced 
amidst the oils of heaven's glory
retold in canvassed starry nights.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lydi, Jeff and Andy


©Shers Gallagher 2014

She had suffered a substantial loss while gaining something more elusive, and it felt odd to disclose that she had met the love of her life. But knowing was enough, and she never told anyone else. Yet, was it also enough to live life on a shoestring? Lydi was no longer used to such a life, though she had in her youth run away from home and experienced living rough for several years. This, however, was a long time ago and she was not quite sure how to live within her means anymore. 
Lydi had also recently lost her house to a man she had once known as gentle and kind. When they met Jeff was a wisecracking teen with photographic memory that he used to beat everyone he knew at chess, including herself. Now he had turned on her and checkmated her out of her house by making a calculated move to sit on the unpaid mortgage till the bank foreclosed and they both lost out. His point, she gathered, was simply for her not to have any of it, no matter that he shot his own self in the foot. This was love gone wrong, love turned vengeful. 
Lydi met Jeff on a summer’s day when the geese were still playing in the fields and he had stopped showing up for university courses, his youthful head crammed full of counter-culture propaganda about a cracked social system. And he announced to her and the near empty streets that he wanted to begin living life in parody. She, being a few years younger, thought he was nothing less than wonderful for wanting to drop out simply to kiss the sky. And this began their journey through philosophic hedonism with Lydi following Jeff, like sister to brother, in a childish sense that life goes on even when you’re youthful enough to ignore it. And it was this very delusion that caused their fall, which was not a great one because they had time and parents on their side. It wasn't long after that, including a bit of coaxing from the families, that the two got married, bought a house and had children of their own. 
As the past they’d lived in parody began slipping by, so did the couple’s delusions. Clarity replaced obfuscation, and the two soon woke up to the fact that their lives merged really hadn't much in common at all. Jeff stumbled upon religion on his way to adulthood while Lydi found God in forested trails. He developed a thirst for success and drank on the side while she started colouring up her life with paints. Jeff dreamed of being somebody, while Lydi only wanted to capture on canvas illusions she couldn't hold onto while raising a family and working to finish a degree to generate more family income. When she found community theatre to be an enjoyable venue for her artistry in the form of set design, Jeff found sport and was gone most weekends racing with a local cycling team. The kids in most modern families are often ignored, but theirs they watched growing up together as they grew apart. To her credit, Lydi did try counselling. Jeff wasn't having any of it, however. He only mocked the latest psycho-babble, thinking himself too smart to succumb to that while slipping further into spirits that Lydi came to resent. 
Life went on like this for quite some time, that is, till the day Jeff blacked out while driving and almost killed a public school girl riding home on her bicycle. This was when the marriage truly began to crumble and fade.  
When Lydi graduated college, she went to work worrying only about the children who, in turn, played long hours with friends in the forested paths close to home. To her, they appeared happy and oblivious to the world of adult problems, which added to Lydi’s psychological entrapment. Life went on this way for quite awhile: working, worrying, ignoring, and not really liking living together anymore. And, yet, she stayed and stayed. Jeff stayed too. And Lydi stayed some more, that is, till the day she openly met Andy and Jeff secretly met Kim.  
Now Lydi reached across a waxy pine-wood table to kiss the strong Scottish nose of her lover, Andy. They were sitting over coffee in a town café of her clarified years with Jeff, those years she had awakened to after their more playful days together. She thought of them all with a tinge of sadness, though only presently was she feeling some kind of peace. Thinking again: ‘What is so powerful about love?’ And it was a slow but pleasant burn of the heart when she had first caught sight of Andy while painting the set of a play he was, not acting in, but mixing the music for. ‘What is so powerful about love?’ She couldn't look away as he eyed her back, his smile catching hold.
That was two years ago, and they were there in town this day because of a botched child visitation. Her son Jamie’s birthday was planned to be spent with them, but a mix-up of lawyer dates and an ex-husband’s sabotage prevented Lydi from seeing him. Andy had purchased tickets to a baseball game that afternoon, but Jamie was off swimming with friends at a water theme park and unaware that they were coming to pick him up for the game. Lydi took this personally, cursing the ex and dumping the presents they’d brought with them at his door before leaving. She left before Jeff could see her cry. Only Andy had got an earful, which he sort of expected, knowing her frustration with the ex who, for all his self-pity, had moved in Kim shortly after the break-up. 
“Games, games, and more games.”     
“What was that?”
Lydi grimaced. “Sorry to drag you into all this. My ex does like his games. Only I don’t like it that he’s involving our kids.”
Andy nodded. “Rather low of him. But children are resilient. No worries.”
“Yes, I know. Still…they shouldn't have to go through this, all this crap with us.”
“And in a perfect world,” Andy said with a chuckle. 
“Wishes would be horses,” she answered back. 
At that moment, Lydi thought again that she had lost everything yet nothing, gaining instead an inner-connectedness. She no longer owned her own home but lived in a two-bedroom flat, working harder to split the expenses of teacher and musician. Only love had no price tag attached. ‘Yet, this is life worth living,’ thought Lydi. ‘All the rest is window dressing.’    
The season was turning now and it would soon be time for life to travel inward toward its roots. Memories storing, leaves dropping and drifting while skirting sinking waters or falling to the ground and soon trampled underfoot…as all life in its season does.
Aisling Books

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Rodeo Princess and the Cowboy - Magpie 231

©Shers Gallagher 2014

he leapt from the vehicle,
yelling to the cowboy that he had crossed the line.
And the rodeo princess dusted her jeans and adjusted her bra
before spinning her rope into a dust bowl of lazing lizards,
scattering them as she did
and lassoing just for fun a few cactus that were in her way.
Then she turned to the cowboy, awaiting an apology. 
But he spat and cursed her 
before popping the lid on a tall can of beer.
She breathed in and out slowly, 
taking in every inch of his self-amused smile
and then threw her rope, 
knot-tying him like a piece of chattel
and hearing him swear like a moon-calf 
as her lasso got tighter and tighter.
Oh, he whimpered and pleaded,
saying he would never again take advantage of her.
But it was too late for this cowboy.
The rodeo princess had made up her mind.
She would leave him there, 
a lone wolf among the coyotes, 
as she shifted into drive.

Aisling Books / Magpie Tales