Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Caught in the Net 95 - Poetry by Emer Davis

The Viaduct Bards - Poetry in Motion

Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to the next in the series of CITN featured poets.  We will be looking at the work of a different poet in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.

You can join the CITN mailing list at - http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.

Mother and daughter
picking shells along the beach
we rinsed them in the sea
and watched tarnished pastels shining through,
small glimmers of light reflected in my tears

                 from; Requiem by Emer Davis



     The Crossing
     Coming Home
     Chain Event
     Kill Your Television
     The Kiss
     To Tear Your Breath Away
     The Long Goodbye



1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Emer Davis

Emer Davis grew up in Achill Island in Co Mayo.  She is now living and working in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Poems have been published in Poetry Now, Drogheda Writes 2, Boyne Berries, Revival, Upstart and Message in a Bottle.  Her story was published in A Pint and a Haircut – an anthology of true Irish stories.  She set up the Viaduct Bards Writers group in Drogheda and organised the monthly Poetry in Motion Sessions there.  She launched her first book of poems Kill Your Television in 2010.



The Crossing

From our outpost we tiptoed
across this green divide
rifles in hand.
A ragged allied force
sleep walking this unknown land
we marched on,
hoping to smell
the sweet scent of summer.

Fields pockmarked by war
stood before us.
Bloodied and betrayed
empty shells littered the scorched ground.
A soft light flickered through
as we retraced our steps
on the relentless road
of an unnerving peace.


Coming Home  (Already published - Revival 2009)

Slipping from one hand to another
This case holds the secrets of journeys
Made by one family for over a century
It lay on the rack overhead as
The train travelled west
Towards home.

A young girl stood at the gates
Holding onto the worn handles,
Waving goodbye to her family,
Stepping inside to a new world
Of order and submission.

Remnants of her early life
Locked in this tanned leather box
She entered these cloistered walls,
Leading a nomadic existence
Shifting through a maze of cultures
Over the intervening years.

Letters and old photographs
Stuffed into side pockets,
Plain cotton shirts and brown skirts
Folded neatly in two piles,
A dark face carved in wood
Shrouded in a woollen blanket,
Yielding to a recurring doubt,
She is returning from a distant land.

Stirred by her passion to be free
From the shackles of an ordered faith
This tanned leather suitcase
Creased over time
Chronicled her life story
In a dark unknown landscape.

Slipping from one hand to another
This case holds the secrets of journeys,
Her years of service now ending,
It lay on the rack overhead as
The train travelled west towards home,
Returning to leave this cloistered life behind


Requiem (Published in Boyne Berries September 2010)

Yellow crocuses are bursting forth
around the gravestone
where your name will be etched.
There is nothing to draw me back home,
the final threads of our lives snapped apart.
I sit by your side
and listen to the sirens
moving away in the distance.
Silence descends around us,
Alone at last, words are lost
in this vast open space.
I look around me
and see snowdrops shivering,
their petals wasting away in the pale sun
as you were in those final days.

Mother and daughter
picking shells along the beach
we rinsed them in the sea
and watched tarnished pastels shining through,
small glimmers of light reflected in my tears
I see your hand reach out to me
as we skipped along the water's edge,
grey froth on our shoes
we watched the trawlers come and go.
And now I sit here beside you
and listen to the faint hum of traffic
passing us by,
Alone at last I can hear your voice
filling the gap.


Chain Event (published by Revival Oct 2010)

You wake to the warmth of his breath,
the careless touch of his lips
tickling you in the shadow of early dawn,
a clement haze around
flesh merging with flesh,
clasped together in silent order
your unending figure
moulded by his frame
you lounge, eyes closed,
listening to creased sheets
slide to the floor.   
Damaged and corroded
you hold onto a gift
as fragile tarnished links
slip through your fingers
connecting to another time,
binding you to another place,
secrets clenched
in a scratched chain.


Keel (Already published - Boyne Berries 2009)

Under the moon we danced,
Danced to the rhythm
Of the waves fading in and out,
Moving in time to the shore’s
Darkening horizon.
Tingling in the evening light
Our silhouette
Caressing the cool air,
We sink deeper into the shore,
Sand sifting under our feet.
We whisper
Embracing the moment
When the full moon
Captures our light.


Kill Your Television (Title poem of published book – Kill Your Television)

Kill your television
that's what he said
soap freak
kill your television
I didn't have to
it blew up.

Now I listen to the radio
he said
kill your radio
chart freak
kill your radio
I didn't have to
somebody stole it.

Now I read books
he said
what are you reading?
I look up and mumble a name
he smiles
and I start reading again.

I come home from work
a new television sits in the corner
he stares at the screen all day
all week all year.

I shout
kill your television
soap freak
kill your television
that's what he used to say.


The Kiss

Name tag pinned
to her winter coat,
the kiss still warm
on her flushed cheek,
on a hot September morning
she watched her mother
walk away.

All day they passed
a continuous stream
on the suburban platform,
teachers in armbands,
loud speakers replacing
the hurried murmur
of her mother's voice.

Blinds pulled down,
hot and sweaty
in the dim blue lights,
her eyes flickering
into the blackness,
shunting from one station to another
deep in a foreign landscape.

They stood in the village hall
surrounded by an eager crowd
waiting for the auction to begin.
Her stomach rumbling
with each child slipping away
into darkness.

Doors opened and closed
until all were housed.
She stood in a stranger's kitchen
and held onto her bag,
surrendering to
strange voices and faces.

Rereading those early letters,
a hurried scrawl
with no news of home,
cradling her doll
in her arms,
she remembered the warmth
of that last kiss.

She strayed
from her mother's memory
abandoned by war
and her family.

Her mother's kiss drifting away.

She stands alone
on the site of her old home,
a few bricks,
a saucepan,
an old cushion remained

She stands alone
with no trace
of what she left behind
on that day,
when she held her mother's hand.



An orange glow
streaking across the horizon
she gazes at these bonfires
lighting up an empty sky.
Alone for one hour
to witness a still night
as beacons of light
flicker gently in the falling dusk.

Recalling evenings of her past,
timid cows shuffling home
down boreens
strewn with briars
and the low hum of crickets
and an autumn breeze
rustling in the closing hour. 

Leaning against an old wooden fence
she listens to the faint hush
across this barren landscape
stripped of all its beauty
darkness hides all traces
of the constant shelling.


To Tear Your Breath Away

Sand dunes rolled in front of her,
its twirling contours
unravelling before her eyes,
a continuous wave
misleading her down
unknown territory
she heard the ghost wind swirling
as troops moved forward.

She stood by her truck
waiting for the order to come,
this lunar landscape
of windswept sand
blowing in her face
watching the battle
played out from a distance,
match stick soldiers
charging to the end
tearing at each other
until there is no more noise.

An uneasy silence descends
as an amber glow
casts a lingering shadow
across this dust bowl.
She drives across the erg
picking her way through
dead bodies and empty shells,
defeated figures, heads hung low,
returning to their camp.

Carefully looking for some trace of life,
fingers twitching in the dying sun,
bruised faces staring at her
a soft moan, a frail whisper,
she holds his head
releasing all his pain,
loading these broken souls
onto her truck.

A cold wind surfacing
across this gritty graveyard
she leaves behind
old and new acquaintances.

Young corpses interred
on this vast desert,
a collection of metal tags
jingling on the dashboard,
a faint rustle of sand vipers
peeping above the earth
as the trucks rolled away,
this ritual replayed across
this barren landscape,
all that is mortal is gone
tearing your breath away.


The Long Goodbye

Snowdrops wavering
on a cold winter’s morning,
a pale sun weakened by falling flakes
slowly rises in the east.

Cloaked in whiteness
and surrounded by old headstones,
she ambles gingerly among ominous graves,
scanning names etched in stone.

Under stark trees
icy drops dripping from bare branches,
she holds onto her only memento
from her distant past.

This creased old black and white photograph
of a man in uniform
fading with every touch.
Today she walks among these invisible heroes
searching for his name,
wondering what he felt when it ended.

No more screams
No shouts
No falling debris
No bullets
Or sirens piercing your eardrums
No more lightening attacks
On the horizon to shake you from your sleep.

Her muffled despair cried out
as their clandestine affair ebbed away,
evaporating into a distant past.
A muted stillness permeated
when the emergency ended.

This old print clasped in her chapped hands
remained buried along with her voiceless story.

Standing at his grave,
she remembers a gallant youth leaving home.
She has waited fifty years
to see his name.

She stands alone, now, as she did back then,
watching early buds gradually
blooming in the morning sun.


3 - Publishing History 

     Coming Home  (Already published - Revival 2009)
     Requiem (to be published in Boyne Berries September 2010)
     Chain Event (published by Revival Oct 2010)
     Keel (Already published - Boyne Berries 2009)
     Kill Your Television (Title poem of published book – Kill Your Television)


4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at - 


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words.
    I feel like you paint beautiful pictures with thousands of paint brusehs and millions of colors all with your words.
    From the snow to the desert to the goodbye....
    I picture myself there.
    Look forward to hearing you read soon.