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"Starlight" "Why" and "Sunday Cutlery" by Kerry Rawlinson


Starlight

It is true that its glimmer is so faint that it disappears where the eye tries to fix upon it… yet… it gives an impression of brilliant beauty. —'A History of Astronomy’ —A. Pannekoek—

 

you have to squint

                              or gaze sideways 

 

to see the farthest star.

                              its light is peripheral

 

& quixotic—but if

                              you peer obliquely

 

you can spot it.

                              I never look at grace

 

full-on, either, but try

                              to be discreet, peeking

 

askance through slitted

                              eyes. with this technique

 

the spark & flicker partnership

                              of humour & decency

 

should have a half decent chance

                              of reaching me.

Why? 

trivial as a zit on the face of a lunar eclipse;

distant as Neptune          on a night unlit & dark

as tar, unsightly as scars & crowsfeet

on the cheeks          of a hollywood starlet,

 

this word…

 

trifling as the smothered heart of a humming-

bird;           ridiculous as a turd on the Queen's

kingsize sheet, bleak as the brothers

Karamazov in their white          Siberian sleet, 

 

this word…

 

fragile as frost-brittle buds, foolish & tiresome

as lust, as oddly lost          as a glass eye from a

china doll in grubby silk, detached as the

Flying Dutchman          in an ocean of spilt milk, 

 

this word…

 

wasted as a piddle in the sea, grotesque

as the stain of puttana          in the Vatican; silly

as the riddle on the guillotine that its victim

will never read:           this irrelevant, insolent 

 

word.

 

 

Sunday Cutlery

 

forks & tines &

juggled knives—

 

the flying cutlery

of exhausted couples

 

reflect the inner massacre

of our hacked-up lives.

 

sharpened all week,

we wield the tips to nick;

 

to prick juicy drips

of delectable gossip

 

for the neighbours to lick

from each other’s necks;

 

to fling at the spinning

sacrificial disks

 

of homey entropy

to which we’re hogtied

 

blindfolded, as if

they were gut-spinning

 

Wheels of Death.

but it’s sunday…

 

today, can’t we quit

the slicing & dicing

 

the crazed sawing back

& forth of routine? abandon

 

edges of animosity? on this

one day, let’s carve

 

ourselves free. let’s curl

into the quiet contours

 

of release, stow our ivory-

handled weapons snug

 

in their velvet vaults

& make a toast. after

 

sunday roast & spuds

have soaked up life’s bile

 

let’s spoon past midnight,

afloat in the gravy of love.














"Starlight" "Why" and "Sunday Cutlery" by Kerry Rawlinson

kerry rawlinson is a mental nomad & bloody-minded optimist who gravitated from sunny Zambian skies to solid Canadian soil. Winner of Princemere Poetry Prize 2024, honorably mentioned in Proverse Press and Fish Poetry prizes and placed in others, e.g. Bridport, Canterbury; Room; National Poetry Society and Palette, she has forthcoming or recent work: League of Canadian Poets; Pinhole; Touchstone Lit; Novus Lit; Passager; UCity Review; Drunk Monkeys; Wild Roof Journal; Suburban Review; Grain; Rochford St. Review; and more. kerry is still wandering barefoot through dislocation and belonging—and still drinks too much (tea). kerryrawlinson.com @kerryrawli

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