Category Archives: Online

4 Poems in The Blue Nib

I’m delighted to have 4 poems published in the Abhaile section – ‘poetry from the home place’ – of The Blue Nib.

https://thebluenib.com/4-poems-by-angela-graham/

Tracy Gaughan selects poetry from established and emerging writers from Ireland and the UK.

One of the poems is from the book I’m currently writing on Place and Displacement.

Tracy comments: ‘Angela Graham’s imaginative eloquence of language embodies an ‘at-homeness’ in both the universal and the particular’.

Abhaile is a great means of sampling work from a range of poets. I found among them Hugh McMillan and Caroline Johnson. I’ll give them a wave over there in Scotland. I’m looking forward to my time off next week when I can read everyone’s work.

Christmas Stars

CHRISTMAS STARS

The stars, a rowdy, cheerful crowd,

ran to their places, prompt to the call,

and how they sing! since then,

a nightly choir.

Only the comets − their slow tears −

betray the sorrow underneath that steadfastness,

for haven’t they seen it all?

− what we do down here,

warping the darkness that they love

into sly coverts for our filthiness.

Poor stars. Don’t grudge them their reprieve

each year, when their paragon,

their Star of stars, leader of kings,

sets out once more and triumphs;

finds his place, finding the child,

perfect as every new-born.

Here! the Star declares to each of us,

Surely you see – surely – that you

are a Child Awaited, you

arrived − naked and loved − and you,

gift-bearer of nothing,

can stoop under this lintel,

step clean through the needle’s eye.

 

ULSTER SCOTS WEEK – POEM

Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

Ma feither caa’d Wee Tam’s The Mune,
Fer the eyefu’ frae the gutter o’ thon Deil’s Den,
The mair, tae a weefla, Iniquity, a stern kirk-wurd,
Glamoured thaim cowp’d Deil’s Ain.
Yit, canny, A luik’d ap tae Him, the Lord
That wrocht the stars, the mune.

But thon ither god, the Yankee wan, ris then.
A lairnt new wurds − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my pleghmy, chagrining ain.

Fiftie year on, wised-ap, A’m bak tae yirth agane.

TRANSLATION
Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

My father called Tam’s pub The Mune,
Citing the view from the gutter of that Deil’s Den,
Though, to a boy, Iniquity, a solemn, churchy word,
Shed glamour on those fallen Deil’s Ain.
Shrewdly enough, I still looked up to Him, the Lord
Who made the stars, the moon.

But that other god, American, rose then.
I learned new words − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my own − my phlegmy, chagrining ain.

Fifty years on, and wiser, Am bak tae yirth agane.

by Angela Graham

First Published in The Bangor Literary Journal August 2019

Issue 9: The Open House Festival Edition

Cover Art: ‘Discworld 6-5’ by Les Sharpe

Poem in Black Bough #2

It was an inspiring theme from Matthew C. Smith, editor – the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing to be dealt with in no more than 10 lines in an imagistic style. I wrote Moon, Landing from the perspective of the moon coming to earth rather than humans going to the moon. See Broadside 5. Black Bough Poems

Moon, Landing 20th July 1969

I was moon-hungry, ten years old,
So I set a mirror on the beach
And lay in wait that night.
Moon landed there, looked up
And was a child! Like me, an only child,
Tentative and curious, hoping to play.
To have him as my friend, I saw
I’d have to let him go
And come at will. Chastened, I prayed
That all the astronauts would lose their appetites.

On the same theme I also wrote a poem in Ulster Scots which will be in #9 of The Bangor Literary Journal, launching August 18th and First Death of The Troubles, occurred 14th July 1969 about the context of the Moon Mission in Northern Ireland – this is on my website.