Forgotten By Lavender Askew
The darkness that they faced, the faces forgotten, only a name to see in stone.
The struggle that I face, one created by my own, but that you made real.
A bairn, left to fend off the gunshots and the uniform men in unorganised unison.
But you knew. Whispers shared, truths and lies exchanged, and you were kept in the know.
Bright blue eyes, that in the night seemed to glow, stars and galaxies, infinite worlds.
Hardened skin, well used to it, but never failing to place trust in people who aren’t deserving.
He felt the warmth through her uniform, attempting to hush him, shushing him to sleep.
And they, falling into bed, feeling cold sheets against their face, seeing only darkness.
The wee one slips into a deep sleep, the only sign of life the pacifier moving slowly, as the gunfire continues.
And the gunfire in my head keeps steadily firing, as a tear is shed, and it’s silently said we’ve parted ways.
Dublin and I Are No Longer Intimate By Odin O’Sullivan
The welcome is gone from the air
Husks and shells, buildings and people
A strong sun bleaches the paving stones
It brings the Liffey to a boil, sets the glass windows aflame and allows the stench of piss to rise, steaming from the ground.
Into vacant buildings, the light leaks
A space made homely by its warmth
The cranes glint, sluggish and serpentine as they swing through the air
Harbingers of progress, tendrils
Metallic, that ever-present stench
It sneaks around corners
Ten stories, all the same
Spare some change
The river roils white hot and the bridges that span it collapse
Back and forth, either side the quays burn, the vultures loom, and their wings blot out the sun
A nation of empty promises and pint glasses
They tip us in dollars, and can’t pronounce our names
The sun still shines, and the streets still smell of piss
And the vultures still circle
Ready to pick the body clean