Noel King

August

Noel King

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In this Still Life my grandmother,

widowed thirty years,

painted lilies in August;


lilies her cross grandson

used to pen-knife the stems of,

whack his younger sibling’s bare legs with.


I was that younger grandson,

she took no notice,

didn’t reprimand him.


We’d do as we pleased

in her garden so long as we didn’t disturb

her easel, could run rings round her


without her caring a whit. She rested in rain

or if it got too hot

and for tea always after three.


She could paint all day under the tree,

once she even painted a bee

but there’s no trace of that one now.


These paintings are all we have of her;

framed, unframed, finished and half finished.

She called everything Still Life.


Noel King


Noel King was born and lives in Tralee. His poems, haiku, short stories, reviews and articles have appeared in magazines and journals in thirty-seven countries. His poetry collections are published by Salmon Poetry: Prophesying the Past, (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (forthcoming in 2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others. Anthology publications include The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (AR.A.W.,India, 2014).



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