Anne McMaster

Dark Days & Walking Home from School.

Anne McMaster

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Dark Days

Darkness slips, tight to the ground.

On velvet-soft paws

a cat

is absorbed into the shadows

of an ebony hedge

which rustles

and is loosed

into the dark air.

In rough-winged flight

a crow rises.


murky clouds cluster

in a brutish sky


flitting before me

above me

and beyond me.

Sometimes the darkness stays.

Walking Home from School

We walked the last mile home each day;

Three small girls, satchelled – often scratched –

From tumbling playground games and farmyard fun.

In spring, the hedges burst with flowers –

Bluebells rippled past us down the steepest banks,

While we drew sweetness from the primrose hearts

And stitchwort laced our way.

I walk the road now on some quiet afternoons

And visit trees – now aged and tall –

That we once jumped from, played around.

And sometimes, if the day is true,

I press my face against the weathered, gnarled bark,

And hear childish voices, still.

Anne McMaster

Anne McMaster is a poet and professional playwright who lives on an old farm in rural mid-Ulster. She was a finalist in the FSNI Poetry Competition in 2015 and shortlisted for the 2016 Bangor Poetry Competition. Her work has been published in 19,751 Words: an Anthology, in Paper Plane Pilots and in The Poetry Marathon Anthology (2014 and 2016).   

A theatre director and former lecturer in both English Literature and Performing Arts, Anne now runs a theatre company which specialises in original devised work and in practical drama projects for universities, colleges, theatres and community groups. She is happiest writing or out in the garden with her cats trying not to kill plants.