Clare McCotter

'The Pot Maker' and 'Gemini Grave'

Clare McCotter

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The Pot Maker

in memory of Amanda Sargent

I see you walking outside the School of English

flaming hair, roll ups, long red cord coat

swishing round the Holy Land

like the brightest Bordeaux

and up here in summer

a moth seeding jessamine and jade

reaching me  

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.


Hearing you talk in the stale light of a Belfast bar

I should not have been surprised

the sharpest theorist on the block

climbed derelict heights

in a northwest night

teenager out alone

with a throat full as the dune larks

reading Keats’s Great Odes to a seminar of stars.  .


It was late this afternoon when your sister called

a child when you were taking a First

she said in two years

you would be the younger

your nearly new signature

bare beneath

a lake of blue ferns

glazing dreams drawn from the very earth herself.

I told of searching the stratosphere for your name

conjuring it on some serious dust cover

rather than clay

let lead the way

like a spell falling

beyond demand, effort, absolute plan

of crazing grazed by dark geese or gazelle

each a one off taken from the kiln still glowing hot.

The unpredictable survivor of trial by fire and water

your fragile handmade art

mud flowerings

rooted in an autumnal heart

rustling today

up among these hills

leaving crimson carnations on grey stones

and taking to your memory all the back roads home.

Gemini Grave

Will their bones remember

being a binary star

out in black

crisscrossed by tracks

of deer and vixen

and the honey eyed hare.

Will their fingers remember

a sky of roots

quilting bone on bone

in a geometry

of curves and groves

grown into down the years.

Will their spines remember

Meath’s giving ground

and will they wait

for the call

of yellow bittern and raven

in their city graves.

Clare McCotter

Clare McCotter’s haiku, tanka and haibun have been published in many parts of the world. She won the IHS Dóchas Ireland Haiku Award 2010 and 2011. In 2013 she won The British Tanka Award. She also judged the British Haiku Award 2011 and 2012. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on Belfast born Beatrice Grimshaw’s travel writing and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in Abridged, Boyne Berries, The Cannon’s Mouth, Crannóg, Cyphers, Decanto, Envoi, Iota, Irish Feminist Review, The Leaf Book Anthology 2008, The Linnet’s Wings, The Moth Magazine, A New Ulster, The Poetry Bus (forthcoming), Poetry24, Reflexion, Revival, The SHOp, The Stony Thursday Book (forthcoming) and The Stinging Fly. Black Horse Running, her first collection of haiku, tanka and haibun, was published in 2012. Home is Kilrea, County Derry.