:: Article

Two Poems

By Paul Perry. 

Towing an Iceberg to Belfast

for Rita Duffy

On the tip of her tongue

She’s …

Don’t think of melting

Pools along the way
A river

Think swimmers


On the long finger

She’s …

Don’t say it

Stop making sense

She’s …

Towing an iceberg to Belfast

By a horse and cart

In wheelbarrows

A berg
A mountain
A mountain of ice


All poetry is performance
All poetry is language

Not the iceberg
An iceberg

Blue and …

By dreams
with dreams
in dreams

She’s …

Towing an iceberg to Belfast

And gladly

To return

Return the scene of the crime
To its …

She’s …

On the back
Of an old morris minor
An exploded artefact of sorts
From the Falls

We’ll all be there
When she’s coming round the mountain
Coming round
The mountain of ice
The ice berg
We’ll all be there

And what of the ship
What ship
Ghost ship
Don’t say it’s name

Swallowed by a bottle
Why not
Why not
A blue bottle
And floating the waves

With a message
For everyone

Arrival time
Forever and some

Museum of ice
Of found bodies
Returned to their resting place

Thirty years

Here she comes
Thank the …

With the arrival of the iceberg
It is agreed
All poems are to be decommissioned

At last

the city exhales
An icy breath

A River in the Irish Midlands

the stones shine like silver
and sink into your hands
slip into knots and become
the anchor of a longing
that will not break its bounds

where water is alive with voices
and sunlight wickers and shakes
the fronds and gold flowers
rain’s witness calls out a clue
to the secret of the river

and a girl’s drowned eyes
extinguished sometime blue
ripple and rise into the net
of an anyday Sunday memory
what they say is simple

no one fishes here anymore

Paul Perry is the author of two critically acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently The Orchid Keeper (Dedalus Press, 2006). A new book The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance is due from the same press in 2009. Born in Dublin, he programmes the Aspects Literature Festival in Bangor, Co. Down and teaches for the MFA Programme in Creative Writing at Kingston University, London.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, November 24th, 2008.