Jona Xhepa – Three Poems

jonaJona Xhepa grew up in Canada. She has moved back to Ireland after a brief sojourn elsewhere and performed comedy, poetry, and music in various venues around Europe and North America. She will soon have a short story published in gorse magazine, and has had her fiction included in various journals.


Ducks

By the canal I give the children
orange slices and go back to my knitting
The youngest is bridled in his buggy
the eldest runs from his hiding place
to our wooded resting place
They wait to feed the ducks that do not come,
crumbling bread slices in anticipation
The youngest ferociously jerks
his sheltered head
eyes stumbling on oak
arching the river
Two ducks make their way
below the bridge towards us,
the eldest notices and runs
to be the first to feed them,
his brother moves pleadingly
from my persistent knitting
to the birds’ concentric circles
cutting off chunks of bread
The eldest entices the ducks
and they stay still on the spot where he feeds them
as his brother casts bread crumbs
in futile juts with tiny arms
“They won’t even swim to your bread,”
the eldest laughs shoutingly,
and the youngest looks to where I’m knitting
where we both realize
a small evil is born


There is no night

(after Jack B Yeats painting)

The borders of day
announce the shapeshifters
from doorframe to door
from the steps of the garden
to the bicycle racks that expand in blue,
in the etudes of rua Georgian houses,
until there is no night

There is no night
but the immanent tipping point
where our physicality becomes blurred
and a Berlin blue veils
lines of isolation

There are no nights when
immigrants come in briefly from the rain,
where iron staircases howl like bread
the autumn day rushes to the segments
of an embrace, and wills it to a blue leaf

From basement flats
the nights doesn’t hide the smells of poetic rejection,
night doesn’t come to those
who shuffle in chaos
to abstract their skies.
In night our bodies
clench their insufficiencies
the blue hills bring their
profanities to the night
dragged into the yellow sea of day


Gnossienne

Slightly endurable
the small adventures in
walking across the courtyard
leaving the heat on overnight accidentally
interminably endurable

Though painless
in the knowledge they hold
of us, who commit these actions

the lamp, the stars that
haven’t been watched,
the trousers, the kettle

And the small of the back that aches,
aches, briefly in
turning the torso, anticipating
something, someone at the other end

Brittle these travels, the
staring off into space, in remembrance,
or, maybe not, when
someone is speaking, and
your response lost in calculation

a stamp, the fly
two mannequins wearing
the same vest, that
margarine is not better than butter.

 

 

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