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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This poem is taken from PN Review 237, Volume 44 Number 1, September - October 2017.

Two Poems Lorna Goodison
Ireland Jamaica

My friend Dan O’Riley Kelly’s skin is the colour of a glass of Guinness.
A wild man who once locked four of us in his car one Monday
and drove us through ink-dark Bog Walk’s carbon cachement
across low and precarious Flat Bridge, to a dirty dive of a night club
that as it turns out had been closed down. So right there in the empty
asphalt carpark under the light of a tinnin moon, he danced by his own
self, as we sulked and allowed as how the next day was a workday
and we’d been dragged miles away on a fool’s errand; and that made
him laugh the more as he did his own peculiar roots-reggae riverdance
to the hind-leg rubba dub riddim of tree crickets. When he did take us
home past cane flags pennanting in the night wind, he urged us to sing
along to a maddening mixed tape he’d made from twelve terribly strange
instrumental bootleg versions of ‘raindrops keep falling on my head’.


Funeral In Knockpatrick

Rice-white blossoms blew from a tree by the room’s one window
and settled upon the corpse laid out in an open coffin.
Funeral confetti or light food shared and eaten in haste at the last?
No one I asked knew what the name of the tree was.

A brown man dressed in a black suit; he sported a grey moustache,
his white shirt pearl-buttoned up to the neck. He had a half-
smile on. I was there because his daughter was a courtesy aunt,
her name was Maude. Maybe her Father had christened her

after Yeats’s great love; except I do not recall her as beautiful.
For sure no one would write her poems; except her own father,
the dead man who was mostly Irish, and who had the look of a poet.
Don’t ask me why I say this, I was after all only a nine-year-old girl

who saw a man lying in state in a house in red-dirt Knockpatrick.
A man I’d never known in life; but who looked to be at peace,
his face clean, as the blossoms blown in from a tree – the name of which
I’ll know one day – dusted him there in his plain pine coffin.

This poem is taken from PN Review 237, Volume 44 Number 1, September - October 2017.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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