Two poems by Ron Carey

 
Among Men
 
There are a few originals left – a small curmudgeon
Of diehards, one might say. Life has put something
Sharp in our water or something shaky beneath
Our pale, Tupperware skin. We’re not complaining.
That’s just the way of it. No hand-holding, thank God,
But we are interested in each other – the way old
Walruses might care who has slipped from the rocks
And not returned to shore. By day we live below
The buzz of halogen – daylight been removed. Later,
Staff Nurse clops in with a fairytale of rain and night.
At lights, some new man might let the side down. But
We are careful not to hear. By breakfast clash, we have
Regained our manliness – ready now to face the dead
Certainty of priests; prognosing doctors and the knife.
 
(first published in Cinnamon Press Winners Anthology, The Book of Euclid, 2012)
 
 
In the House of Lazarus
 
He wakes to find the journey
Still in his bones.
Outside, in dust-filled trees
A golden oriole sings;
Its song grows stronger
With the rising heat.
He swings his legs out.
A rivulet of blood
Has dried between his toes.
His sandals lie tattered
Against the wall, taking
The scent of limestone.

In the courtyard round
Water rises, like the sound
Of a crowd.
In the courtyard a woman
Prepares the grain.
On the saddle quern
The stone rolls away.
He washes himself and takes
Pleasure in being clean.
In the mirror, he sees how
Thin he has become.
And in his long black hair
The first strand of grey.
 
(first published in Cinnamon Press Winners Anthology, The Book of Euclid, 2012)
 
 
Ron Carey was born in Limerick and lives in Dublin. He has been published in New Irish Writings and The Irish Times as well as in numerous poetry journals. At the moment he is studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of South Wales (Glamorgan) and working on his first poetry collection. Follow him on Twitter @RonCarey49