Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Galaxies & Pope II

Enlarge poem

GALAXIES
James calls me to come see;
“Mommy, hurry up!” and I,
in a towel, running late,
bite back impatience to
find him,
absorbed
in the sun beam
spanning our kitchen.

He is watching dust motes,
tiny prisms dancing in light.
“Look,” his voice is hushed,
“look, it’s like galaxies.”

Holding his hand I see
through his eyes,
systems of stars,
a universe wide,
which orbit
my shower-wet hair.

POPE II
Yesterday there was a new Pope.

The old Pope resigned, took off
his elaborately embroidered mitre,
left it neatly on a desk in the Papal Office.

Left his robes hanging, carefully pressed,
in a cupboard and the fisherman’s ring
placed on top of a folder marked
To Whom it May Concern.

In old corduroy trousers and a cardigan
sweater the old Pope slipped out a back
door behind the Sistine Chapel, emerged
from it a man before God, no longer His
conduit; breathing in great gulps the free
air of Rome spread out like love before him.

Jeannie Wallace McKeown

Featured Poem:

Inked

Enlarge poem

How do the blind
see tattoos? do their
fingertips learn to
trace ink like Braille?
and if you were to
bind my eyes
and my hands
could I use my tongue
to see them,
tracing lines
with its tip,
flattened to taste
colours – would my brain
know which saltiness 
was ink
which not?
what flavours would
your body be?

Blinded,
it would be
your pulse I’d read;
with each flavour
it would quicken
would you cry out
if I used my teeth,
biting to release
the astringency of colour;
you would taste of artwork
canvas, parchment
oils, sweat,
greens/blues/reds
skin stretched tight,
a class for the blind
and the bound,
scent of sweat
and sex.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (2)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Jeannie Wallace McKeown writes poetry and prose creatively; works at a desk in a university but has also been a freelance writer for the past six years covering academic lectures, seminars, book launches and interviewing interesting people; has had creative pieces published in literary journals and online; mother of two boys who can no longer be described as small; in a steady co-parenting relationship with an ex-husband, resolutely single and using poetry as one means of meeting this life head-on.

Jeannie Wallace McKeown

Biography

Jeannie Wallace McKeown writes poetry and prose creatively; works at a desk in a university but has also been a freelance writer for the past six years covering academic lectures, seminars, book launches and interviewing interesting people; has had creative pieces published in literary journals and online; mother of two boys who can no longer be described as small; in a steady co-parenting relationship with an ex-husband, resolutely single and using poetry as one means of meeting this life head-on.

Galaxies & Pope II

Enlarge poem

GALAXIES
James calls me to come see;
“Mommy, hurry up!” and I,
in a towel, running late,
bite back impatience to
find him,
absorbed
in the sun beam
spanning our kitchen.

He is watching dust motes,
tiny prisms dancing in light.
“Look,” his voice is hushed,
“look, it’s like galaxies.”

Holding his hand I see
through his eyes,
systems of stars,
a universe wide,
which orbit
my shower-wet hair.

POPE II
Yesterday there was a new Pope.

The old Pope resigned, took off
his elaborately embroidered mitre,
left it neatly on a desk in the Papal Office.

Left his robes hanging, carefully pressed,
in a cupboard and the fisherman’s ring
placed on top of a folder marked
To Whom it May Concern.

In old corduroy trousers and a cardigan
sweater the old Pope slipped out a back
door behind the Sistine Chapel, emerged
from it a man before God, no longer His
conduit; breathing in great gulps the free
air of Rome spread out like love before him.

Featured Poem:

Inked

Enlarge poem

How do the blind
see tattoos? do their
fingertips learn to
trace ink like Braille?
and if you were to
bind my eyes
and my hands
could I use my tongue
to see them,
tracing lines
with its tip,
flattened to taste
colours – would my brain
know which saltiness 
was ink
which not?
what flavours would
your body be?

Blinded,
it would be
your pulse I’d read;
with each flavour
it would quicken
would you cry out
if I used my teeth,
biting to release
the astringency of colour;
you would taste of artwork
canvas, parchment
oils, sweat,
greens/blues/reds
skin stretched tight,
a class for the blind
and the bound,
scent of sweat
and sex.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (2)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Galaxies & Pope II

Enlarge poem

GALAXIES
James calls me to come see;
“Mommy, hurry up!” and I,
in a towel, running late,
bite back impatience to
find him,
absorbed
in the sun beam
spanning our kitchen.

He is watching dust motes,
tiny prisms dancing in light.
“Look,” his voice is hushed,
“look, it’s like galaxies.”

Holding his hand I see
through his eyes,
systems of stars,
a universe wide,
which orbit
my shower-wet hair.

POPE II
Yesterday there was a new Pope.

The old Pope resigned, took off
his elaborately embroidered mitre,
left it neatly on a desk in the Papal Office.

Left his robes hanging, carefully pressed,
in a cupboard and the fisherman’s ring
placed on top of a folder marked
To Whom it May Concern.

In old corduroy trousers and a cardigan
sweater the old Pope slipped out a back
door behind the Sistine Chapel, emerged
from it a man before God, no longer His
conduit; breathing in great gulps the free
air of Rome spread out like love before him.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.