Monday, August 29, 2011

poetry snapshots: david cooke






WORK HORSES




The clanking compound of the brewery

where my dad did shifts, whenever

work was slack on the buildings,

is buried now somewhere

beneath the panels of the multi-storey

car park and the chat that drifts across

from the cappuccino pavement.



Born to a scant inheritance

of rushy Sligo acres, my dad was bred

like his brothers to follow the work,

sending remittances home

from London, Reading, and Philadelphia –

for worklessness

would have been their defining shame.



And somewhere in the grainy hinterland

of just remembered childhood

I am watching a drayman

as he guides heraldic, towering horses

through a time-thinned stream of traffic.

Their sinews barely tensed,

they go unfussed about their business.







David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984, but stopped writing for twenty years. His poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals such as Agenda, The Bow Wow Shop, Critical Quarterly, Cyphers, The Frogmore Papers, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, The North, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp, Stand, Staple, and The Use of English. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, has just been published by Night Publishing and a further collection, Work Horses will be published by Ward Wood Publishing in 2012.






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