THE TREE THAT WITHERS IN ITS LEAVES
The tree that withers
in its leaves
with no name!
in nets of little fishes
for a man much legless
in his stumps
with this! the winnowing of
autumn through her tears
For here is a man fits inside my shoes,
a man of water with his mouth
perpendicular to the journey
between two stars,
a man erect in his rusty clocks,
in his season full of faces
they are withering with the wind.
Another explosion of feet
of lungs, of light!
Here is a man with his shadow
wet with sex
in its scalpel sharp edges,
its ripening in the glands,
its sperm and seed between the atoms,
behold, a man of birth among the
This is a song of the roadside
on a sunday
torn from the calender
so all the leaves
will fall from his shoulders.
And his feet don't fit inside
his shoes no more.
Shape him well, sister.
Shape him so his muscles deliver the
subtraction of lives
left in stone,
shape him in birth and leavetaking,
in women heavy as mirrors,
in echoes and arms
who never held him.
Shape him in corners and angles
How he is coming among the ants,
insect in his sticks and footlessness
and coming in the grain
and in his ears the howling of space
and its half human shapes
a silence assassinated.
Here is a man dreams among women,
when the skin is soft
and the walls of the prison weep
and the words won't fly no more.
A gentle man with his pockets convulsing.
And it is autumn again and the sun
breaks the world into ice
and a wind whistles through the ruins
of his ribcage
and the ruins of woods and debris
and this is a man of peace!
A man surrounded by ceasefires.
This man who has no country now.
Here is a man shedding in his clothes
and his flesh falls
for all her leaves weep in their
O, he has hoisted the dead between
the shrapnel of his shoulders
and the light leaks from his emptiness
and it is one blow among the blinding
and it is autumn
and the wind has blown
it all away
for, O, we are all endless in
this dance of the leaves
among the wars!
Séamas Carraher was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1956. He survives on the Ballyogan estate, in south County Dublin, at present.
Recent publications include poems in the Rusty Nail, The Camel Saloon, Dead Beats, Red River Review, Word Riot, The Junk Lot Review, Dead Flowers, Pyrokinection, Dead Snakes, Carcinogenic Poetry, Napalm & Novacain, ditch, Bone Orchard Poetry, Istanbul Literary Review and Pemmican. Previously his work has been published in Left Curve (No. 13, 14 & 20), Compages, Poetry Ireland Review, the Anthology of Irish Poetry and the Irish Socialist (newspaper). http://www.seamascarraher.