James Mulhern – Session’s End

James Mulhern’s writing has appeared in literary journals over one hundred and seventy-five times and has been recognized with many awards. In 2015, Mr. Mulhern was granted a writing fellowship to Oxford University. That same year, a story was longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of his novels were Finalists for the United Kingdom’s Wishing Shelf Book Awards. His novel, Give Them Unquiet Dreams, is a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2019. He was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2021 for his poetry.

Session’s End

One day there is no news.
The anchors stare at empty teleprompters,
Eyes wide and twitching, lips quivering,
they look into the camera.

We change channels.
See black screens or people scrambling on sets,
Passing blank papers and whispering.
We do not hear what they say and we do not care.

We are too tired to move.
Through the living room windows: trees and sky.
The wind blows and birds fly.
Somewhere snow falls and thunder booms.

But not here. There is no weather.
No drama, conflict, or story.
No wars, crimes, or political crises.
No empty talk. No sound and fury.

In a forest, high on a pine,
a wood thrush sings.
Deep in a dark-water cave,
the Emperor angelfish knocks.
A judge’s ruling: session’s end.
Or someone shuts a door.



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