David Cooke – Two Poems

In The Clouds

On the day you have found
your paradise you’ll see it
the way you’ve dreamed it
and think of it as home.
You’ll know you’ve reached it
because you are chosen;
because you have earned it
and suffered enough.
You have trekked, prayed,
or bombed your way.
You have spent your life deciphering
the shadows on the walls
of dungeons, caves,
or bleak ancestral halls.

In that zone of pure forms
the circle’s always true;
the straight line’s unwavering.
A lark ascends in affirmation.
A blackbird serenades
the souls of the slain
for whom the simpering virgins
never seem to pall;
while those who have toiled
imbibe a nectar
only patience improves
on that day they have found
their heaven; on that day
it’s granted.

National Trust

Floor by floor we learn
their histories: upstairs downstairs
knowing their places.

Above our cream teas –
the baby bats fine-tuning

David Cooke was born in Wokingham, although his family roots are in the West of Ireland. He won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, Work Horses, was published by Ward Wood Publishing in 2012.  His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in journals in the UK, Ireland, and beyond including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The Morning Star, The North, Orbis,  Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and Stand.  Two Rivers Press will be publishing his new collection, A Murmuration, in 2015.

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