Two poems by Brendan Cleary

Not Yet

for Michaella

hardly surprising
your Dad on the phone
explaining in graphic detail
the intricate laws of physics
when you say you’re convinced
if you persevere that is
in the madness & chaos & wind
eventually you’ll levitate

that’s quite a lot of cushions
to be stacking up
& keep the best China
at the bottom of the other kitchen

keep your balance & concentrate
forget about your Da
think only of lonely angels
think about the dew this morning
or the frost all over the rooves

keep focus! steady girl!
you can do it!
& I’ll wait for you somehow

sure look out at those stars winking
I’ve built a stairway up to them
(from Face, Pighog Press, September 2013)

There’s something
I’ve wanted to tell you,
even when we were together,
but I thought it better
I kept it to myself.

Yes, my love,
it’s regarding your Lasagne,
it was always too dry
but I didn’t want to tell you
or mention it at the time.

Thought I’d put you in the picture
now that you’ve gone
& are cooking Lasagne
without much liquid
for somebody else.
(from Face, Pighog Press, September 2013)
Brendan Cleary was born in Co Antrim and now lives, writes and works as a tutor in Brighton. He has many collections, from Bloodaxe, Wrecking Ball Press & tall-lighthouse. A new Selected Poems is forthcoming in 2014 from Lagan Press, Belfast. He is Editor of The Echo Room magazine.