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Friday, 15 May 2009

Poem by Andrew O'Donnell

Eyewear originally recently came across the young, and talented poet Andrew O'Donnell (pictured here) at a Manchester poetry reading - and then again at the Essex International Poetry Festival, where he came third in the poetry competition judged by Roddy Lumsden.

O'Donnell is from Lancashire. He studied Literature and Philosophy at Staffs University and wrote an opera libretto entitled 'Transmission' in '97, performed at Huddersfield College of Music the same year.

He's travelled and lived for years in Asia. His poetry and short stories are published on the net at Unlikely Stories and Nthposition, and in Orbis, The Wolf, and Grain.

A Weeping Page

To Raul Zurita

Satellites beam the news to a screen
in a tank filled with strangers both
strange to each other and strange
to themselves. Then the weeping starts.

I turn on a tap because my own
weeping has started; wash my hands
in the tears of strangers, mark this shift;
tear-threshed, to begin the fresh weeping.

In the street the houses are weeping
with rain and the shops are selling it
in bottles and the people are drinking it.
And the streets pass on their cupless

drizzle to the rivers that weep, the inlets
that weep, the lighthouses that weep,
the bays that weep, the oceans that weep –
drumming themselves down each history.

Then the broadcast is halted. Strangers
watch the screen go blank – from a drop
caught in the eye of a gunned-up dove –
they find each other, in this glance. Spied.

And we wait, as the main parts of each
local piece: minted mice, three-legged cats,
mute mynahs, are air-lifted out like glottal
stops – paged over the sea’s furring lingo.

poem by Andrew O'Donnell
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