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16 October 2014
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Paul McIlwrath
Paul McIlwrath

I was born in Belfast 1962 and left Ireland in 1980. I lived and worked in Germany and Greece for 6 years before settling in Warwick, where I have a guesthouse. I was encouraged two years ago, (coincidently by another one of your contributors), to have a go at writing poetry. I'm in admiration of those that can rattle off a great poem in 5 mins, for me, however, it's like giving birth!

Daisyfield Street by Paul McIlwrath

If there was ever a daisy in Daisyfield street,
I never saw it.

The odd blade of grass though, would sometimes peep
from the ‘field’ below the pavement,
disappointed at first, I’m sure, at where it’d found itself.

It could have done worse.

For there was much to see in that wee street,
the plastic paratrooper, suspended from the telephone line, would testify to that
Carried there by autumnal gust,
above the slate and whirlpool of crisp bags below.
A bored boys bedroom, three streets away, it's launchpad.
‘a street too far’ the old men joked

Below it, the grass, wedged between house and flagstone,
was safe, for a while.

Four children’s swings marked the boundary of the street.
Sometimes used as street lights,
often used as both.
Have cushion and rope, will travel.. round and round..
And painted goalposts on gable walls.
Nothing wasted
in a street devoid of cars.

Men who’d walk for miles to work each day
to their front door could barely shuffle on a weekend
‘away and get’us 20 B&H’
Errand boys in plentiful supply,
happy to abandon their game of kick-the-tin,
a penny reward for a breathless run to the ‘wee shap’

Bleach, deck brush and a mothers pride
would do for the grass eventually.
No prize for the cleanest step in Daisyfield Street, none required.
Seeping through the cracks to the field below
the detergent, a deterrent,
to any young seedling that fancied a go

There’s still a Daisyfield Street where the old one stood.
Centrally heated houses, boasting inside toilets,
lend themselves gratefully to the air of progress
Behind the double glazing, dvd’s and playstations
usurp imagination

Frightening imagery supplants the innocence
of goalpost and wicket on gable walls
It’s not the same, kicking a ball at a man with an Armalite pointed at you
There are still no daisies in Daisyfield street,
but at least there once were children.


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Daisyfield Street
Autumn Supernova

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