Two Poems | niall campbell
—From Moontide, Bloodaxe Books, 2014
—after Luis Muñoz
for those who are diminished or half-formed.
for those rare, unnamed birds on the bird-table.
for those who want to leave, but never do.
for those who talk, sing, curse, all without speaking.
for those who are alone.
for those who never share their evenings between two.
for those who, like mules, prefer the burden
and the journey through the unmapped provinces
of painful years, and don’t search for their youth.
Leave the poetry
for when you need the guide of its magnetic north.
for the nights you wake, your throat too dry
for prayer, it can be your water.
for times you need a second, imagined life,
or times you wish to sleep a restless sleep.
because it watches us even until death
with its unflickering eye, and open mouth
that sings of nothing but beauty.
for it gives us no explanations:
and this is sufficient:
and this is insufficient.
Leave poetry, my friend, for the shadows that retreat at morning.
I know the thing the apple passes through
between its peak and catch:
and the small grace
collected in the collecting palm
and why the fruit must not be eaten later,
and I know the trembling and the risk,
the pardoning for stray light, winds, the audience,
and know the pact: that my hands finish
filled or empty—with neither feeling right.
The Winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for 2014 is niall campbell