Noel King was born and lives in Tralee, Co Kerry. In this his 50th year, he has reached his 1000th publication of a poem, haiku or short story in magazines and journals in thirty-eight countries. His poetry collections are published by Salmon: Prophesying the Past, (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others (Doghouse Books, 2003 – 2013) and was poetry editor of Revival Literary Journal (Limerick Writers’ Centre) in 2012/13. A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories will be published by Liberties Press in 2017.
Lemons In History
Yellow is this mother’s colour. She sees
lemons on branches of a tree bending
in gentle winds, a tree that bottoms her garden.
But oranges are the more normal orifice
of her routine. She squashes eight for her family
every morning with an electric squeezer.
Her mother did it by hand while her father
made porridge; her own children eat Ready Brek.
There must be something, perhaps a meaning
in Greek Mythology? For now we squeeze away
onto foods, tongues, while less cultured families
buy processed lemon juice in plastic lemons.
Hand Me My Life
Your hands carry the strength
of wise old trees whose edges
of branches slapped
my childhood bedroom window.
A dumb-show plasters our faces;
a look for other drinkers in this bar,
front for our closeness, thoughts,
to each others hearts.
We liken the mists of our individual
lives, lovers we have now
and one for you from the past;
likening the softness of trees
to the business of our hearts.
I condition myself to time,
make maximum use of it,
moments that take me
on epic adventures to ponder
until we next meet, when renewal
will gain fresh confidence.
My style I weave, from you my hero,
while my return is more practical.
Now your touch is the root of it,
from hence I follow to my New World.
A flash of bright
among the trees
at Late Glentennassig.
A spy using the sun
to alert an accomplice?
City kids on holiday with reflectives?
I see it again,
my two retrievers still oblivious.
Then the apparition,
woman with blonde hair to her waist
in the clearing.
It is a golden droplet of earring
that has caught the sun’s eye
and it has a partner on her other ear.
She smiles, she’s Scandanavian perhaps,
takes the camera that hangs from her neck
and snaps a few shots
I lounge back on a rock, my dogs growl,
I pollute the air with a cigarette.
She smiles again and asks for a light.
© Noel King