Ciaran Carson

Fear

I fear the vast dimensions of eternity.

I fear the gap between the platform and the train.

I fear the onset of a murderous campaign.

I fear the palpitations caused by too much tea.

I fear the drawn pistol of a rapparee.

I fear the books will not survive the acid rain.

I fear the ruler and the blackboard and the cane.

I fear the Jabberwock, whatever it might be.

I fear the bad decisions of a referee.

I fear the only recourse is to plead insane.

I fear the implications of a lawyer’s fee.

I fear the gremlins that have colonised my brain.

I fear to read the small print of the guarantee.

And what else do I fear? Let me begin again.

Belfast Confetti

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining exclamation marks

Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the explosion

Itself – an exclamation mark on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire…

I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept stuttering.

All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and colons.

I know this labyrinth so well – Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, Odessa Street –

Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated, Crimea Street. Dead end again.

A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies. What is

My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A fusillade of question-marks.

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