Singing in the Dark Times
The following work is drawn from Singing in the Dark Times, the first full collection of poems by Margaret Corvid, published by Patrician Press. To purchase a copy, go here.
Every one of us has the day when her heart hardens.
Every one of us, as much human as a statue is,
criss-crossed lines caulked on a cracked phiz,
bleached out and broken in the fire of a thousand pardons.
Every one of us, one day, sets, turns hard, away.
You can layer on and on the shiny coats of wax,
take gold solder, burn routes for lines of attack,
dry out the insides, glaze caverns and footsoles grey.
One day, maybe part through a story or a plea,
everything stops. Cries for help crystallise in the throat,
form a perfect cast of dreams mumbled, debates, frantic
It’s nice to hold still, not to feel or see
or breathe, but only to nod and raise the oar
and tip over the waterfall, and pour.
Anger, Remembered in a Sunny Lane
The magpies are calling across to each other,
one roof in shadow, the other in sun,
the echo that warns, exhorts brother to brother,
the terrain for more battles routed than won,
the grandmothers walking the dogs past the lane
where the rottweiler shies from the terrier’s bark
and the tears leak out eyes from the old referred pain
and the gasps and heart pounding in midsummer dark
playing words back from long ago, longer than hate
in my old toddler’s heart, just before it was cored
and convicted and sentenced, hung out on the slate
because someone was frightened, addicted and bored.
One day I will have enough courage to curse
but until then, the shivers, the nightmares and worse.
Tales Told by the Gods
If I become a cliff edge, without holds
for your hands, will you wander off, across
the plain? Or will you take your ax, and toss
it forward, hard? The steel, gleaming and cold
will hit the shale of me, and split the layers.
Your breath the winter wind, grind me to sand.
Between the blows, not all the thoughts and prayers
would raise a single blister on your hand.
Instead I’ll let you carve steps in my back,
scoop out the vertebrae, insert your rods.
One day, we will be tales told by the gods.
Pasiphae wielded lust as an attack.
No herbs protect my faces, bitter stone.
I’ll take no help, and be myself alone.
To purchase a copy of Singing in the Dark Times, visit Patrician Press.
Margaret Corvid is a poet, copywriter and journalist based in Plymouth. Her articles have been published widely online, including in the Guardian, the New Statesman, Cosmopolitan, and Narratively. Her poems have appeared in Red Wedge and as part of WonderZoo’s online anthologies. She is a member of the Etherpoems digital poetry collective, and is an official poet and loremaster for several NFT collections, including Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult.
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