Laura-Blaise McDowell – Three Poems

poet4 Laura-Blaise McDowell is a 23 year old MA student of Creative Writing at University College Dublin. Her work has appeared in The Bohemyth, Silver Apples, Bare Hands and the Runt. She is currently working on a novel.

Northen Lights

Valkyrie, in your billowing gallop, prism casting across the sky. Light the tree tops, lined spears beneath you. Wash our souls in the waves of your tide, of your echoing light.

Armour child, iridescent, collect us. Lead us howling to furious night. Lead what’s left to the halls of Valhalla, in a flickering, tundra bright dance.

We lie, battle bruised, sacrificed. Red snow claims our bodies below. Valkyrie, sweep us soft and unending, march once more in your unholy glow.

Once above, in the manes of your horses, carried on, heaven clasped in the storm. Delivered at last to our fathers. There we find our heartbeats once more.

To be chosen, to be golden, to be the face on the shields of our brothers

To be chosen, to be golden, to take our seats at the table of Odin.


When I was seventeen
I damaged my eyes forever
By staring at the sun.

It was an act of defiance
Because the girl I loved
Did not love me back.

I still see her face in those black spots.


your name
over and over
Rosary on a string of rubies
Oh, take me in! I will slip through the crack in your voice, into
your temple. Spread my arms wide and you eagle yours out to me,
casting a shadow in which cities grow and sprawl and simmer

I’ll send petal whispers through their streets and look down at all the people Scattered like matchsticks across a burnt tapestry and think
Being with you is how birds feel when they soar above busy cities

Though these colonies of bacterial lovers explode in waves of winged, humming, singing being, in the dark, warm hives beneath your outstretched arms, they cannot come in here. Here, where you are the sun that pushes the shadows the other way.

Let me stay where there are no such things as footsteps, only the sound of your heartbeat. I will climb here, build here, grow here. I will become the tallest steeple
That finally touches



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