NIALL MCGRATH is from County Antrim and is a graduate of Edinburgh University. His most recent collections are Clay and The Way It Is from Lapwing.
TONY D’ARPINO is an American poet living in England. His most recent book of poetry is Floating Harbour (Redcliffe Press). His recent nonfiction book, Trees of Bristol, explores the legacy of the ancient forests of the West Country, local tree lore, and the bio-diversity of the urban forest. His poetry has appeared in Agenda, Barrow Street, The Clearing, E-Ratio Magazine, The North, Raceme, and Raum.
We’re probably the only ones in the county do this –
as well as anticipating flights of bats
when blossom whitens apple and thorn, rabbits colonise grass –
my offspring insist on preceding the Fiat
like flagbearers had to when automobiles were new.
They scan the tarmac, crouch to snatch up
each prince who has strayed, set them on the verge they know
by some innate magnetism leads to the plop
and splash of bogwater, fistle of reeds, rustle of weeds
as instinct calls them to their spawning ground.
On a cloud-shrouded April night, the kids’ll stoop by torchlight
anorak hoods sheltering them as rain pelts
our slow parade an avoidance of funerals,
a recognition another species has equal
right to access this territory,
to not be collateral, adversary.
Requiem for a People
from Sky Tree: a biogeography of David Douglas
nature is what we know
yet have no art to say
You may judge of my situation, when I say to you that my rifle is in my hand day and night; it lies by my side under my blanket when I sleep, and my faithful little Scotch terrier, the companion of all my journeys, takes his place at my feet. To be obliged thus to accoutre myself, is truly terrible.
the forest floor
grassman will never see
the great prairie grasslands
the central plains
the bluestem long grass
My instruments are all excellent, and in the best order, and have already enabled me to make a multitude of important observations, which will go some way towards perfecting the Physical Geography of this part of the country, as well as illustrating its magnetic properties.
A dreadfully fatal intermittent fever broke out in the lower part of this river about eleven weeks ago, which has depopulated the country. Villages, which had afforded from one to two hundred effective warriors, are totally gone. Not a soul remains. The houses are empty and flocks of famished dogs are howling about, while the dead bodies lie strewn in every direction on the sands of the river. I am one of the few persons among the Hudson’s Bay Company’s people that have stood it, and sometimes I think even I have got a shake, and can hardly consider myself out of danger.
Modoc echo warriors
in the labyrinth of lavalands
a deeper diary
west of Rome
a vegetable lamb
violater of Mount Coffin
I intend to procure skulls of dogs, wolves, and bears for Scouler, but none of men, for fear he should make a second voyage to the Northwest and find mine bleached in some canoe, “because I stole from the dead,” as my old friends on the Columbia would say.
of baby raccoons
on river boulders
the double pointed dugout
of the Coos
Greenwich, September 14 1829
Did you hear of the total wreck of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s ship on the sandbar at the entrance of the Columbia River, with the loss of every individual on board, forty-six in number, on the 11th of March last? It was the vessel in which Dr Scouler and I went out in 1824 when the late Captain was First-Mate. It is stated that those who escaped from the wreck were destroyed by my old friends, the Chenooks. This may be true, though I confess I entertain some doubts, for I have lived among those people unmolested for weeks and months.
of salmon sunset
through the weir of trees
and forest dark
of spoken maps
of silica in plants
big as turkeys
in the canyon
is a part of botany
of Scottish thistle
If a woman wants to vanish she can
abolish the fetish of skin, to skin, to skin
contact dematerialize a softened puff
that sterilizes her lips, fingernails spreading fig &
47 pages of advertisements in Vogue
3 articles about how to make a man happy
Men are never happy
Women have no chance
Every piece of clothing is black, the coffee is black, the
leather is black, the hair is black, the models aren’t allowed to be
“Too black”, tattoos all in black, epiphanies in black and subject
There must be a goldmine down there between our thighs
several men have been jailed for connecting their
hands to their eyes… & responding with
resentment when we can’t help
but reciprocate with contempt
The last time I tried to love someone, the ice cream truck
grew fists my heart grew weaker nothing &
came to warn me about being monopolized by trust, and
hope, the vanity of holding hands not waking up alone
No one warned me that being in love meant being a void.
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